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  • The Cotopaxi volcano, one of the world's highest active volcanoes, spews ash and smoke as seen from Quito, Ecuador, August 22, 2015.

    The Cotopaxi volcano, one of the world's highest active volcanoes, spews ash and smoke as seen from Quito, Ecuador, August 22, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 August 2015

Ash from Ecuador's Cotopaxi volcano rained down on a dozen villages in the country's central Andean region Saturday.

Authorities in Ecuador reported that the Cotopaxi volcano erupted once again, spewing clouds of ash and steam over the surrounding areas.

In response, the government carried out “emergency response simulations” as well as “military training exercises” in the event of a potential eruption, officials reported Sunday.

“Government agencies carried out drills providing logistical support to the elderly and other vulnerable groups,” a press release issued by the Ecuadorean Security Coordinator Ministry stated Sunday.

“Ecuador has to be alert in case of such an event. What should we do? Participate in workshops, drills, get information about safe areas, evacuation routes and shelters, prepare an emergency backpack, be alert to official information,” Ecuadorean Vice-Presient Jorge Glas told reporters on Saturday.

RELATED: 2015: An Explosive Year for Latin America's Volcanoes

Many residents in the surrounding areas have already evacuated last week after the volcano began spewing ash, prompting President Rafael Correa to declare a state of emergency.

The volcano, located 31 miles south from the Ecuadorean capital Quito, is considered one of the most dangerous in the world, but has remained inactive for 132 years.

Ecuador’s Cotopaxi volcano is the second highest active volcano in the world.

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