A volcano in Peru which had been erupting since Sept 1, had a major explosion on Monday, releasing a cloud of smoke that reached up to 2,500 metres above the crater.
The latest round of eruption prompted authorities to order the relocation of villages in areas where the ash flow could damage crops, pollute water sources and endanger the lives of residents.
The volcano is located in the Moquegua department, 1,250 kilometres south of Lima. It is the most active volcano in Peru, said seismologist Victor Aguilar of the Geophysical Institute of the University of San Agustin de Arequipa.
The country's Geological, Mining and Metallurgical Institute theorised that the Monday eruption was caused by snow accumulation in the crater which prevented normal emissions.
Mosquegua and the nearby regions of Arequipa and Tacna have 40 volcanoes, but most of them are dormant.
Following the eruption, Peru authorities declared an emergency.
The Peruvian volcano eruption happened a day after a volcano in Sumatra, Indonesia also erupted, forcing the evacuation of 6,00o residents from their villages.
Mount Sinabung, the 2,600-metre volcano had been dormant for three years, said Sutopo Purwo Nugrohi, spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency. He said there were no injuries or damage reported except for vegetation.