Evacuations as Peru volcano rumbles to life

LIMA (AFP) - A volcano in Peru that has not blown its top in four decades spewed more ash skyward on Tuesday, after authorities evacuated villagers to avoid Ubinas's wrath.

The volcano in south-western Peru blasted back to life causing about 60 villagers from Querapi, near its base, to be relocated Saturday, Ubinas town mayor Pascual Coaquira said.

"We are readying a shelter for refugees from the blasts," he added on Tuesday, noting that the whole Moquegua region was on alert.

"The volcano has been emitting a lot of ash all day, the people in the town (of Ubinas) are having some problems breathing," the mayor added. He said they have been given masks.

Peru's geological and mining agency (Ingemmet) said lava had been building up in recent weeks, and warned locals they should prepare for the possibility of more evacuations.

In the broader Moquegua area plus Arequipa and Tacna, there are about 40 volcanoes, most dormant.

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