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Hundreds of quakes shake villages around smoking Peruvian volcano

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Hundreds of small earthquakes have shaken the earth around the Sabancaya volcano in southern Peru over just a few days, and the rumbling, along with plumes of smoke spewing up to 320 feet, or 100 meter high, have put officials on alert to evacuate the area. Peru's geological agency Ingemmet recorded some 536 quakes, about 20 an hour, on February 22 and 23 and periodic movement is ongoing. Thousands of people live in the valleys surrounding the volcano. Some have already started to leave the region because the unusual seismic activity has damaged their homes. About 80 homes were damaged by one tremor on February 22, Peru's national defense office said. The 20,000 foot or 6,000-meter volcano Sabancaya, which means "tongue of fire" in Quechua, has not had a significant eruption in nearly a decade. It sits atop the South America tectonic plate, which forces magma to the surface when it clashes with the neighboring Nazca plate.

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