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Thousands of People and Animals Evacuate Amid Eruption of Peru's Ubinas Volcano [VIDEO]

Apr 17, 2014 05:41 PM EDT
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Peru's government called for the evacuation of about 4,000 people living in the vicinity of the Ubinas volcano, an 18,600-foot stratovolcano in the nation's south.

The volcano has been erupting since March 29, spewing ash clouds as high as 2 miles into the air, threatening the health of people in the region as well as about 30,000 head of livestock that are of vital economic importance in the region.

A state of emergency has been declared around the region of the volcano due to the ash.

"This declaration will allow for government assistance for evacuation of both people and livestock, which are economically important for the region," the Wired.com Eruptions blog reported.

According to a report from a Peruvian news agency (link in Spanish), the volcano is a threat to not only humans living in the area but also to the entire population of llamas, alpacas and vicuna which constitute the main source of income for the area's residents.

Peru's Agriculture Minister Juan Benite said the evacuation will begin Thursday, according to The Associated Press. It will take about three days to move "the residents of two southern districts and their 30,000 sheep, cows, horses, burros and other animals," the AP said.

Since Sunday the volcano has emitted a series of small explosions and ash clouds, LiveScience reported, citing INGEMMET, Peru's national geologic, mining and metallurgical institute.

The last major eruption of Ubinas was 12 years ago, and prior to that it has been quiet for about 40 years. Eruptions have been reported from Ubinas, considered Peru's most active volcano, sine 1550.

The video below is of an April 14, 2014 eruption.

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