UK & World News

  • 30 December 2013, 13:32

Chaparrastique Volcano Spills Smoke And Ash

Authorities in El Salvador have evacuated an area near the Chaparrastique volcano after the mountain fired hot ash and gas three miles into the air.

Civil Defence Director Jorge Melendez said a yellow alert had been issued and investigators had been sent to the area to look for signs of fresh lava.

"We have implemented emergency measures to evacuate villages located within threekilometres of the volcano," he said.

Shelters have been set up for the evacuees but some locals have refused to leave their homes.

Assistant Health Minister Eduardo Espinoza said two people had been treated at hospitals for respiratory problems apparently linked to the eruption

But he said there were no serious cases.

"We are providing assistance to people evacuating, and we are asking them to protect themselves against the gases, which can affect the respiratory tract," he said.

A spokesman for El Salvador's Red Cross, Carlos Lopez Mendoza, described the eruption as a "quite strong explosion".

The volcano, which rises some 7,025 feet into the air, last erupted in 1976. It isabout 90 miles east of San Salvador.

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