Hundreds evacuate from skirts of San Cristobal Volcano

Nicaragua's tallest volcano belches back to life

(posted Dec. 28)- Some 370 people living in communities on the skirts of San Cristóbal Volcano, in the northwestern department of Chinandega, have evacuated their homes to escape the cloud of noxious gases emitted from the volcano for the past three days. More than 110 people are in shelters and another 260 have evacuated their homes to stay with family members, according to the government.

The volcano, which belched back to life on Dec. 25, has covered a dozen nearby communities in ash and gas, prompting many people to evacuate the area on their own. Some 38 children are being treated in shelters for respiratory complications, according to the government. No other serious injuries, deaths or damages have been reported.

First lady Rosario Murillo has asked other families remaining behind to evacuate also, but says “thank god” the eruptions have not grown more violent in the past 24 hours.

“We want to ask these families living on the skirts of the volcano or nearby, with all our hearts, to accompany us on the evacuation rout or to evacuate yourselves, either to homes of family members or to shelters,” Murillo said on Thursday.

The year-end eruption by San Cristóbal Volcano concludes a busy 2012 for Nicaragua’s tallest volcano. The colossus belched an ash cloud 5,000 meters into the air following the earthquake in Costa Rica last September.