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Colombia lowers alert over volcano's eruption

Colombian officials have downgraded the alert level for an eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano, and some airports in the area have resumed operations.

The volcano in western Colombia spewed smoke and ash on Saturday, but caused no injuries or damage. Colombia's disaster management agency says officials lowered the alert level Sunday morning, but are continuing precautionary evacuations in 15 towns near the mountain.

Gas and vapor have been erupting periodically this year from the Nevado de Ruiz. The 17,457-foot (5,321-meter) volcano is roughly 90 miles (145 kilometers) west of the capital, Bogota.

An eruption at the volcano in 1985 sent a river of rocks and mud surging into the town of Armero and killed 25,000 people.