UK & World News

  • 27 December 2012, 6:57

Nicaragua: Farmers Ignore Volcano Warning

Around 1,500 farmers are ignoring orders to leave their homes in the face of an erupting volcano in Nicaragua.

Civil defence troops have been deployed to "persuade" the farmers to move away from the danger zone, say officials.

The government issued a yellow alert on Wednesday, ordering the evacuation of 300 families living near San Cristobal - the tallest of Nicaragua's seven active volcanoes.

"People have not evacuated because we do not want to go and leave the area abandoned," said Maria Pereira, who lives in a community of about 600 people at the base of the volcano in Chinandega.

She said columns of ash "bathed the trees, houses, and roads in white" and "pretty sand fell" in the morning.

She said by early afternoon volcanic activity had decreased, though in the evening new columns of ash shot up.

In the community of Bethlehem, near the volcano, some farmers resisted evacuation efforts of civil defence officials.

Rosario Murillo, First Lady and government spokeswoman, said "the situation of the volcano is unstable".

The volcano is believed to have erupted for the first time in 1685.

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