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Evacuations as Mexico's 'Volcano of Fire' Erupts

Evacuations as Mexico
Highlights

Ash rained down from the so-called -'Volcano of Fire-' in western Mexico and people living in its shadow were evacuated Saturday after it...

Ash rained down from the so-called "Volcano of Fire" in western Mexico and people living in its shadow were evacuated Saturday after it spectacularly erupted.


The interior ministry said the volcano in Colima state could continue to spew lava before waning in a few weeks - or possibly experience its biggest eruption in more than a century.

More than 80 people were evacuated from nearby communities after the volcano sent a four-kilometer (2.5-mile) column of ash skyward late Friday. Ash and lava continued to flow out the crater on Saturday.


One village at the foot of the mountain, Yerbabuena, was smothered in up to five centimeters (nearly two inches) of ash, authorities said, and rain also tumbled down, adding to the misery.

Ash traveled as far as the city of Colima, where residents wore masks as a thin layer of talc-like material covered streets and cars.

"This is the strongest activity since 2005," civil protection official Luis Felipe Puente told local radio.

The preventive evacuation area was a radius of 12 kilometers around the crater, though no preventive evacuations were needed in the neighboring state of Jalisco. Traffic was also restricted.

The interior ministry said the volcanic activity was "atypical, presenting conditions similar to those of 1913," when a major eruption took place and covered the region in ash.

The ministry said three scenarios are possible: A gradual waning of activity in coming weeks, a 1913-like explosion or a collapse of the volcano's dome.
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