[QODLink]
Americas
Nicaraguan volcano spews ash cloud
No immediate reports of injuries or damage, but government prepares to evacuate 3,000 people.
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2012 23:38
The plume formed a cloud extending 48km from the 1,745m San Cristobal volcano [AP]

Nicaragua's highest volcano belched an ash plume up to 5km into the atmosphere, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of nearby residents.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, authorities said on Saturday. But the government issued a yellow alert, indicating emergency plans had been activated.

The plume formed a cloud extending 48km from the 1,745m San Cristobal volcano, which is about 154km north of the capital Managua in the country's volcano-dotted northwest, said the Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies, or Ineter.

Javier Mejia, executive director of Ineter, which monitors seismic and volcanic activity, said he recommended that civil aviation authorities close down the air space near San Cristobal because of the ash plume and cloud, the largest recorded in recent years.

The volcano has long been active, and stirred in mid-2008, when it expelled gas and rumbled with a series of small eruptions. For months it has emitted "abundant gases in a constant manner," Ineter said in its monthly bulletin.

Most active

The government expects to evacuate about 3,000 people from around San Cristobal, though numerous families already have evacuated of their own, said Guillermo Gonzalez, who heads Sinapred, a government emergency and disaster relief agency.

"A response plan exists for volcano eruptions and every community has clearly defined places for people to go to once they are evacuated," Gonzalez said.

In a preliminary report, Ineter said "more gas emissions and sporadic explosions" could be expected from San Cristobal.

The volcano is one of the most active along Nicaragua's Pacific coast, according to the institute, and at times averages nearly 100 seismic movements a day.

Rosario Murillo, a government spokesperson, earlier said as many as 20,000 people could ultimately be affected.

283

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.