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    Galaras Volcano Spews Smoke — Colombia


    by NTDTelevision

    Colombia's Galeras volcano is again active and an evacuation has been ordered. Some villagers are evacuating, but many are staying put as Galeras spews smoke.

    On Wednesday, Colombia's Galeras Volcano continued to spew smoke after an eruption earlier in the day.

    Authorities ordered the evacuation of thousands of villagers.

    While some residents packed up and headed for protected buildings, many in nearby villages and towns refused and hunkered down in homes.

    Galeras, which has often spewed gas clouds into the skies in recent years, is located in Colombia's Andes about 310 miles south of Bogota, near the frontier with Ecuador.

    Authorities reported no immediate injuries or damage after the latest eruption.

    Around 8,000 people live in risky areas around the volcano but many often refuse to leave their homes because they are used to frequent volcanic activity.

    Galeras erupted ten times last year and has now awakened again.

    Area volcanologist Diego Gomez says the increased activity makes predictions difficult. Gomez is recommending that people move away from the volcano.

    [Diego Gomez, Volcanologist]:
    "In this state of instability, the volcano's eruption process can vary. We can't guarantee anything. It's unstable. The eruptions can increase and that's why it's important that people who live in high-risk areas heed the call of authorities and not wait for this to evolve more. It's a call to be reasonable and prevent accidents."

    Nonetheless, hundreds of residents in the town of Pasto, which sits at the foot of the volcano, walked placidly through the streets, Wednesday.

    Pasto-resident, Baby Munoz, says locals are used to the rumbling above.

    [Baby Munoz, Pasto-Resident]:
    "I woke up my daughter and went out to look at the volcano and it wasn't doing anything. You couldn't see anything and everyone was calm. It always scares us but never does anything.”

    In 1993, a massive eruption at Galeras killed ten people, just as scientist were examining the crater.