May 29 - Colombian authorities raise alert after a volcano rumbles to life, spewing ash on nearby towns. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION
Residents in western Colombia woke to find their cities and towns covered in volcanic ash Tuesday (May 29) after an area volcano with a deadly past began spewing an ash cloud as high as 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) into the atmosphere.
Local authorities raised the alert for Colombia's Nevado del Ruiz volcano from yellow to orange indicating an eruption was likely in the coming days or weeks, though not imminent.
The volcano had been rumbling at high activity for several months and was just lowered to yellow earlier in May before returning to the elevated orange following internal earthquakes on Tuesday (May 29).
The director of the Volcano and Seismology Observatory in Manizales, Gloria Patricia Cortez, said the area can expect more ash to come though experts say they are not expecting lava flows.
Airports in Manizales, Pereira, Armenia and Cartago were all temporarily closed because of ash on the runways and the danger the volcanic material presents to engines.
Health authorities have recommended the use of masks while in the streets, but have not canceled classes at area schools or universities.
The Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupted in November of 1985 causing one of Colombia's worst natural disasters.
The eruption caused major mudslides as volcanic debris mixed with melted snow from the volcanoes snow-capped peak burying the town of Armero and killing more than 25,000 people.
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