Page last updated at 06:28 GMT, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 07:28 UK

Colombia downgrades volcano alert

map of Colombia

Colombia has downgraded a state of alert following the reduction in activity of a volcano south-west of the capital, Bogota.

The Nevado del Huila, the country's third highest peak, belched smoke and ash late on Monday night.

However, officials say there is no imminent risk of a major eruption.

Thousands of people who fled their homes on Monday night after the state of emergency was declared have begun returning to their homes.

The volcano, 240 km (149 miles) south-west of Bogota, became active again last year after being dormant for centuries.

Since 1985, Colombia has treated the rumblings of volcanoes with dread and respect, says the BBC's Jeremy McDermott in Colombia.

In that year the Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupted in the western province of Caldas, setting off mudslides that engulfed the town of Armero, killing most of the 25,000 residents.

Country profile: Colombia
04 Mar 08 |  Country profiles


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