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Last Updated: Thursday April 20 2006 15:02 GMT

Three volcanoes blow their tops

Lascar in Chile

It seems it's volcano season - with three mountains blowing their tops in Indonesia and South America.

Mount Merapi in Java, Lascar in Chile and Ubinas in Peru have all been spewing smoke and ash.

Merapi appears to be posing the biggest danger at the moment, with 30,000 people being moved away from the area.

Scientists think it could properly erupt in the next 10 days. "The motion of lava inside the crater is becoming more active," said one.

Mount Merapi
Mount Merapi

The volcano last went up in 1994, sending out a cloud of gas that killed 60 people.

Lascar in Chile has sprayed ash and smoke up to 3,000m into the air, but local people were in no immediate danger.

It is considered one of the most active among dozens of volcanoes in Chile.

Ubinas in Peru has been belching smoke for several weeks.

Ubinas in Peru
Ubinas in Peru
Gas masks

This has led to at least 1,000 people suffering from breathing problems and itchy eyes. Twenty llamas have died after eating poisoned grass.

Ubinas has never had a lava eruption, but the authorities have delivered gas masks to local people.

They said certain areas should be evacuated, but many people don't want to leave their homes.

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