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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Colombia cities on alert as smoke, ash rise from volcano



MANIZALES, COLOMBIA (CBS) -- A rising smoke plume from a Colombian volcano put nearby cities and towns on alert as it continued to emit smoke, vapor and ash Monday.

The Nevado del Ruiz volcano, located in central Colombia about 130 kilometers (80 miles) west of Bogota, has been on yellow alert since October 2010 and began spewing ash and smoke last week.

The director of the Manizales seismic observatory, Gloria Cortes, said they are keeping a close eye on the volcano and monitoring seismic activity as they work with local officials to ensure the safety of nearby residents and tourists in the area.

"The local committee leaders, led by the area mayors, and given the current state of activity, have made a decision regarding the level of alert for the different areas and cities," Cortes said.

Authorities from cities in the volcano's proximity say they too are carefully watching the situation and have issued green and yellow alerts depending on how close they are to the volcano. Read More