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Violent eruption sees evacuation; COLOMBIA INTERNATIONAL.

A volcano in Colombia has erupted violently, prompting an evacuation order for thousands in the nearby town of Pasto.

The 14,110-foot Galeras volcano sent up an ash cloud estimated to be five miles high, said Colombia's Seismological Network director Fernando Gil.

He called it the most serious eruption of Galeras since the volcano reactivated in 1989. "Depending on the wind direction it's going to spread ashes over the entire area."

About 8,000 people live in areas near the volcano where Pasto's mayor ordered an evacuation but "most of the town is not in danger."

"Most of Galeras' eruptions are violent and short," he said.

The eruption had produced some lava flows that did not extend far from the volcano's crater. A 1993 eruption of the volcano, near the border with Ecuador, killed nine people, including five scientists who had descended into the crater to sample gases. In 2005, the volcano spewed ash that fell 30 miles away.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jan 19, 2008
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