Peru declared a state of emergency for sixty days in areas around the Ubinas volcano on Wednesday. The volcano has been spewing ash and gas since earlier this week, which has traveled up to some 5,500 meters (1,800 feet) into the atmosphere, according to the Geophysical Institute of Peru.
The smoke cloud has traveled over towns that are 10 kilometers away from the volcano, according to the institute.
Ubinas is in Moquegua, a region that lies 1,200 kilometers southeast of capital city Lima, and is the country's most active volcano.
The state of emergency has been called in the area around the volcano. It allows the government to take exceptional measures and actions to counter risks from activity at the volcano.
The declaration was approved in a cabinet meeting with President Dina Boluarte, Peru's Council of Ministers wrote on Twitter.
Some 2,000 people live in the affected areas. The zone is part of the Ring of Fire along the edges of the Pacific Ocean known for volcanic activity and earthquakes. Local authorities have not ordered an evacuation for residents, but federal agencies are readying shelters.
Hundreds of people were evacuated when the volcano erupted in 2019. Since 1550, some 25 eruptions have been recorded at Ubinas. Moquegua and the neighboring regions of Arequipa and Tacna have about 40 volcanoes, most of them dormant.