Nicaragua volcano spews ash cloud, residents evacuated

Reuters Middle East

MANAGUA, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Nicaragua's tallest volcano has

belched an ash cloud hundreds of meters (feet) into the sky in

the latest bout of sporadic activity, prompting the evacuation

of nearby residents, the government said on Wednesday.

The 5,725-foot (1,745-meter) San Cristobal volcano, which

sits around 85 miles (135 km) north of the capital Managua in

the country's northwest, has been active in recent years, and

went through a similar episode in September.

The latest activity began late on Tuesday.

Government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo called on residents

who live within a 1.9-mile (3-km) radius of the volcano to leave

the area. Around 300 families live near the volcano.

"We have some families who have self-evacuated. ... We ask

(the people) to go to a safe place, it's just for a few days

during this emergency," she said, adding it was a precautionary


A billowing grayish cloud could be seen drifting sideways

from the volcano's peak.

The volcano also stirred in mid-2008, when it expelled gas

and rumbled with a series of small eruptions.

(Reporting by Mexico City bureau; editing by Todd Eastham)

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