Colombia has announced a state of "red alert" after the Galeras volcano showed signs of activity, prompting thousands to leave areas near the spewing mount.
The Galeras volcano began spewing ash and lava at dawn on Wednesday to force authorities order the evacuation of around 8,000 people leaving in its vicinity.
"The level of activity in the volcano shifted to red which means an imminent or current eruption," the country's National Geological Institute said in a statement, Reuters reported.
The Galeras, which has often emitted gas and clouds of ash in recent years, is located in Colombia's Andes about 500 km (310 miles) southeast of Bogota near the Ecuador border.
"The volcano is in a very unstable phase," said Martha Calvache, under director of the state geological service, according to AFP.
The Galeras volcano erupted ten times last year.
According to the Colombian Red Cross, so far there have been no reports of damage.