Ethiopia: authorities advise evacuation of 50,000 people living in remote region

Authorities in northeastern Ethiopia have advised 50,000 people to evacuate from a remote region following a series of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, an official said Wednesday.

The evacuation advice was given in the Afar region after a Sept 24 earthquake triggered an eruption of the previously dormant Mount Arteala. Another quake measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale struck Tuesday, leading to another eruption, said Manahlo Belachew from the Seismology Department of the Addis Ababa University.

A thick layer of ash that has spewed from the volcano has covered grazing grounds, preventing nomadic cattle herders from feeding their livestock. Several hundred cattle have already died in the region, which borders Eritrea and Djibouti, the AP reports

Afar authorities have advised the 50,000 people living in the stricken area to travel 400 kilometers (249 miles) south of the region to save their lives and cattle, Belachew said. AM

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