Peru volcano erupts sending ash across 15-km radius

Lima, July 10 (IANS) The Ubinas volcano in the Andes of southern Peru erupted in a 2,700-metre-high column of smoke, scattering ashes up to a radius of 15 km, the Peruvian Institute of Geophysics (IGP) and National Institute of Geology, Mining and Metallurgy (INGEMMET) have announced.

The eruption occurred at 3.34 p.m. on Thursday but data on duration or energy released was not immediately known, Spanish news agency Efe reported.

The Scientific Committee of Permanent Monitoring Ubinas volcano, comprising the Southern Andes Volcano Observatory of the IGP and Volcanological Observatory of the INGEMMET, warned that ashes would shift towards the northeast and might affect the towns of Yalahua, Lloque, Chojata, Santa Rosa de Phara and Lucco in the Arequipa region.

They noted that the emission of ash was constant throughout the afternoon because of several exhalations and might continue in the next few hours in different volumes.

The experts recommended that the authorities assess the impact of the ash falls and develop mitigation actions, including providing people with masks and lenses, as well as protecting water and food from contamination.

They also advised evaluation of the quality of the air and water in the regions of Arequipa and Moquegua as wind speed was variable at this time of the year and could disperse the ashes in different directions.

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