June 11, 2005

Western Mexico’s Volcano of Fire Erupts

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Western Mexico's Volcano of Fire spewed glowing, volcanic rock and a cloud of ash Friday, before sending gray smoke a half-mile into the air, officials said.

The activity followed an explosion late Thursday inside the crater of the 12,533-foot mountain. The eruptions rained ash on several nearby communities, and officials asked some schools to close while they cleaned up the fine grit.

Straddling the border of Colima and Jalisco states, the Volcano of Fire has unleashed six spectacular eruptions in the past three weeks. On Monday night, it hurled glowing lava into the air and showered the nearby city of Colima with ash.

After Monday's eruption, officials in Jalisco announced a voluntary evacuation of three villages nearest the crater and people in other towns were urged to be ready to move.

The volcano is considered to be among the most active and potentially the most destructive of the volcanoes in Mexico.

Seismologists say the increasing frequency of the eruptions and their intensity are signs that the volcano was returning to an explosive stage like one that started in 1903 and climaxed with a massive explosion 10 years later that left a 1,650-foot-deep crater at the volcano's peak and scattered ash on cities 240 miles away. Records aren't clear if there were any casualties.


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