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Authorities activate emergency plans after two volcanoes erupt in Nicaragua

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Nicaragua’s Momotombo volcano ended a 110-year period of inactivity with a fiery eruption on December 2, 2015 (Photo courtesy of INETER, Dec 2 2015)

Nicaragua’s Momotombo volcano ended a 110-year period of inactivity with a fiery eruption on December 2, 2015 (Photo courtesy of INETER, Dec 2 2015)

Authorities in Nicaragua activated emergency plans after explosions occurred at both the Momotombo and Telica volcanoes on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Masaya volcano has also witnessed an increase in seismic activity in recent days.

According to the Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies (INETER), the Telica volcano, located in the Leon department, erupted at 8:28 a.m. Saturday morning, launching a column of ash and gas some 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) into the air. At least 20 smaller eruptions were recorded at the volcano in the subsequent hours. Ashfall was reported in some nearby communities.

About two hours after the first explosion at Telica, the Momotombo volcano – which had been essentially dormant for 100 years before exploding to life in December – launched a column of ash and gas more than 1,600 feet (500 meters) into the air.

There were no injuries reported in either event, though Civil Defense and municipal authorities said they were activating emergency plans in order to provide a rapid response should communities become at risk. Civil Defense authorities also visited communities near the Momotombo to coordinate evacuation routes should a major incident occur.


United States sends scientists to study activity

Two scientists from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) flew to Managua on Sunday to study the recent volcanic activity, Nicaragua’s TN-8 TV reports.

The scientists are expected to spend some six days working with their counterparts at INETER. Amongst other studies, the scientists plan to analyze the Momotombo volcano, which had been essentially dormant until it roared to life in a fiery eruption in December which shot a column of ash more than 26,000 feet into the air.


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