Colombian Volcano Erupts

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The Galeras volcano in southern Colombia erupted on Saturday, shooting rock and ash and prompting authorities to order the evacuation of about 8,000 people.

One resident said he felt better evacuating after the eruption.

[Resident of Eduardo Pena]:
"First I grabbed the kids and my wife and we went to an area to see if we could get out and then we made it here and I think that we are just safer here."

Pasto's Mayor Diedo Alvarado said there were no reports of any injuries.

[Diedo Alvarado, Mayor of Pasto]:
"In general terms, we have received reports that everything is calm, we do not have any reports of damages or injuries of any nature despite observing incandescent rocks along one side of the Galeras mountain."

In the nearby town of Consaca, vehicles and streets were blanketed with ash.

Galeras, located in the Andes mountains near Colombia's border with Ecuador, erupted 10 times in 2009. Most people living nearby have grown used to the alerts and refuse to evacuate when ordered to by local authorities.

Thousands of revelers celebrating the annual Black and White Carnival in the nearby city of Pasto were startled by Saturday's eruption but the festivities carried on.

A massive eruption of the Galeras volcano killed 10 people in 1993.

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