Thursday, July 07, 2005

Volcano of Fire is getting noticed by spittin ashes

An explosion inside the smoldering summit of western Mexico's Volcano of Fire sent ash and gases nearly three miles into the air late Tuesday, but did not cause any immediate evacuations.
Authorities said the eruption was not as large as several spectacular explosions the volcano unleashed last month, but was still stronger than a well-known July 1999 blast that sent glowing rock down its slopes and a plume of ash five miles skyward.

There were no reports of damage, but authorities were searching the area around the 12,533-foot volcano to ensure evacuations were not necessary, said Jorge Sapien, a spokesman for emergency response teams in Jalisco state.

The volcano is 430 miles west of Mexico City and is considered among the country's most-active and potentially most-destructive volcanoes.

Seismologists say the increasing frequency of eruptions and their intensity are signs that the volcano is returning to an explosive stage like one that started in 1903. In that era, the eruptions climaxed with a massive explosion in 1913, which 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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