Hundreds moved to safety as Colombian volcano erupts

April 16th, 2008 - 3:53 pm ICT by admin  

Bogota, April 16 (IANS) Authorities have evacuated hundreds of villagers from the neighbourhood of the Nevado del Huila volcano in Colombia as it started spewing hot ashes and lava. The most active of Colombian volcanoes located in the southwestern province of Huila, Nevado, erupted late Monday night, Spain’s EFE news agency reported Wednesday.

The Colombian Institute of Geology and Mining, or Ingeominas, raised the alert to maximum following the eruption.

There were no reports of landslides or avalanches following the expulsion of lava and tremors at the snowy summit.

According to officials, a scientific commission scheduled to visit the volcano area Tuesday, could not fly over the area due to bad weather conditions.

The Red Cross, civil defence, police, army and other authorities and organisations are coordinating the evacuation and relief operations.

The Nevado del Huila volcano, Colombia’s third highest peak, had remained dormant for 500 years till February last year when it started showing considerable signs of activity.

In April 2007, it erupted twice causing avalanches into the Paez River forcing some 4,000 people to safety.

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