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Nicaragua evacuates 3,000 as volcano spews ash

Managua, Nicaragua, Sep 9 (): Nicaragua’s volcano, the San Cristobal ejected out three times on Saturday throwing out its gases and ashes and forced 3,000 residents to evacuate from the place, authorities said.

Television coverage showed a long column of ash and smoke arising from the volcano’s cone into the sky, Nicaragua’s tallest at 1,745 meters (5,725 feet). So far, no injuries or damages have been reported.

The eruptions of San Cristobal are monitored by government officials. According to reports from Rosario Murillo, government spokeswoman said there are possibilities of evacuating about 20,000 people.

The civil defence agency has said that it had made ready 350 troops and 50 trucks to help the people in situations of greater emergency. The Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies (INETER) said that they are expecting “more sporadic explosions and gas emissions.”

‘There are few villages perched on the volcano’s sloppy side and winds might push fumes from eruption there,’ William Gonzalez, director of the national disaster prevention and mitigation agency said.

INETER is monitoring the volcanic activity. According to its statement ashes are falling on the towns of El Chonco, El Viejo, Rancheria and Villa 15 de Julio.

Nicaragua geological institute’s director, Javier Mejia, said the monitoring instruments have showed “strong activity” in the volcano. He added that they could not come to any conclusion, but they called for calm among the people.

San Cristobal is located 135 km (83 miles) northwest of Managua and is one among the nation’s most active volcanoes, which has registered its recent eruptions in the year 1999, 2006, 2008.

Since last Thursday, when an earthquake of 7.6-magnitude rocked the neighbouring Costa Rica, the tremors were also felt in Nicaragua. INETER began its surveillance at other active volcanoes, fearing that the powerful earthquake would “impact on the activation” of the volcanoes.