Homes, crops damaged by Colombian volcano eruption

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BOGOTA, Nov 21 (Reuters) - The Nevado del Huila volcano in southwest Colombia erupted overnight, triggering an avalanche of earth and debris that damaged houses, bridges and crops, the country's Ingeominas geological institute said on Friday.

Some people fled their homes and civil defense authorities rushed to the area to evaluate damages and begin cleanup. No injuries were reported.

The volcano, in the province of Huila, is not near any major coffee plantations integral to the economy of this part of the Andean country.

Nevado del Huila erupted at the start of 2007 after laying dormant for hundreds of years. A 1985 eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Caldas province triggered mudslides killing 25,000 people in Colombia's worst ever natural disaster.

(Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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