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11/21/2008

Nevado del Huila volcano erupts; thousands evacuated


Columbia
Thousands of people were evacuated Thursday after the Nevado del Huila volcano erupted. Authorities declared a state of red alert and order everyone within the surroundings to immediately leave their homes. Authorities called for the immediate evacuation of La Plata, Paicol, Nátaga and Tesalia, but it's uncertain if the population of the surrounding towns and villages cooperate with authorities. In April this year many people refused to respond to an evacuation call. The eruption took place at 21:45 and immediately made the Colombian seismologist institute to raise the state of alert to its highest level. The eruption caused a mudslide that passed an indigenous settlement alongside the Paez river, but no injuries were reported. Seismic activity seemed to go down again after the initial eruption, but authorities remain cautious. An eruption of the volcano in 1994 - the first in 500 years - resulted in the deaths of more than a thousand indigenous living close to the volcano.
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