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Eritrea Volcano: Eruption In Africa Forces Clinton To Cut Africa Trip Short, Threatens Flights In Middle East (VIDEO)

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In this photo made available by NASA, a plume of smoke from an erupting volcano in southern Eritrea, seen at top center, is carried by winds blowing across northern Ethiopia, Monday, June 13, 2011. Airlines that travel through East Africa are keeping an eye on ash cloud after a volcano eruption in the tiny country of Eritrea. | (AP Photo/NASA/GSFC, MODIS RAPID RESPONSE)

Ash from a volcano erupting in the Eastern African country of Eritrea that threatens air traffic in the region has also forced Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to shorten her current visit to the continent.

From the Associated Press:

Clinton was to have spent Monday night in Addis Ababa. But she will now leave the Ethiopian capital immediately because the ash cloud from the explosion in Eritrea is heading toward the city.

U.S. officials said the airport at Addis Ababa was to be closed. That meant Clinton faced being stranded if she had proceeded with her planned meetings in Ethiopia on Tuesday.

Ash clouds from the volcano, which began erupting early Monday morning, could reach as far as Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

A series of earthquakes -- ranging in magnitude from 4.5 to 5.7 -- struck the region Sunday evening local time.

Eritrea has a population of nearly 6 million people and borders Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

It's not yet clear which volcano is erupting. The Associated Press reports that the Dubbi volcano is spewing ash while says that the Nabro volcano has erupted.

Ash from a volcano in Chile forced the cancellation this weekend of dozens of flights in and out of New Zealand.

Watch a report on the Eritria volcano from

Around the Web

2011 Eritrean eruption - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Strong earthquakes are setting off a powerful volc - The Power

Eruption in Eritrea: 1000 km plume « The Volcanism Blog

List of volcanoes in Eritrea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Clinton cutting short Africa trip because of volcano eruption in Eritrea