The government of Ecuador has declared a yellow alert (moderate risk) in areas near the Cotopaxi volcano amid increasing seismic activity.
The volcano, at 5,897 meters above sea level, is the second highest in the country, reports Xinhua news agency.
The yellow alert was adopted on Sunday based on a report showing an increase in volcanic activity since October 21, when Cotopaxi registered a tremor, which was the most activity observed since 2015, said the Ecuadorian Secretariat for Risk Management in a statement.
At present, nearby residents can see gas and water vapour hovering 500 metres above the crater, and an ash column as high as 2,353 metres.
Authorities thus suspended visits to the volcano.
The last major eruption of the volcano occurred on June 26, 1877.
In 2015, the volcano exhibited new activity but did not erupt.
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