Authorities in Ecuador have raised the death toll to at least five from Thursday's violent volcanic eruption in the central Andes, as rescue teams continue to look for the missing.

Officials say the Tungurahua volcano, 130 kilometers south of Quito, destroyed nearby villages and displaced thousands of people when it exploded early Thursday.

Experts warn the volcano could erupt again at any time.

Rescuers are searching the ash-covered slopes of the volcano and surrounding residential areas for at least 30 people reported missing.

President Alfredo Palacio declared a state of emergency Friday for the region in Tungurahua, Chimborazo and Bolivar provinces. He says the government plans to release funds to help the disaster victims.

Tungurahua sat dormant for some 80 years before erupting in 1999. Since then, the five-thousand-meter tall peak has become one of Ecuador's most active volcanoes.

Tungurahua means "Throat of Fire" in the native Quichua language.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.