September 06, 2015

This picture was taken from an airplane window. foto courtesy of Jaime Palacio

Bursts of ash spew from the snow-encircled crater of the Cotopaxi Volcanoand fall in gusts on this village where the locals struggle to herd sheep and cattle to safety.

Capped by glaciers, the 19,350-foot (5,987-meter) volcano is one of the world's most feared due to its location just 30 miles (50 kilometers) from theEcuadorean capital Quito.

Although officials say there currently is no such risk, a major eruption could hurl rock and mudflows into zones that are home to more than 300,000 people. The government has set a yellow precautionary alert, the lowest of three levels.

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