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Colombia's Galeras Volcano Erupts

Colombia's Galeras volcano has started spewing smoke and ash, but government officials say thousands of nearby residents are refusing to evacuate.

Colombian officials issued a red alert -- the highest level of alert -- Wednesday after the volcano began erupting in the early morning hours.

Officials also ordered the evacuation of thousands of people who live near the volcano, not far from the country's southern border with Ecuador. But officials say, so far, only a few hundred people have left.

The president of the local Red Cross told Reuters Television that few people noticed when the eruption began because the volcano did not make any noise.

The Galeras volcano is more than 4,000 meters above sea level. It last erupted in January, and has spewed smoke and ash several times over the past few years.

The volcano killed at least nine people when it erupted in 1993, just as a scientific team was examining the volcano's crater.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.