Friday, September 16, 2005
Possible eruption predicted in El Salvador
Interior Minister Rene Figueroa said officials are starting to practice evacuations and are preparing shelters for the estimated 10,000 people living near the volcano, some 30 miles west of the capital.
Antonio Arenas, director of the National Service of Earth Studies in El Salvador, speaks about the increasing level of activity of the Ilamatepec volcano, San Salvador, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2005.
Officials said Tuesday they are stepping up emergency preparations after a study by experts indicated that the rumbling Ilamatepec volcano is likely to erupt soon.','') ;
"The studies by the scientists tell us that in the coming weeks or months we could have some type of eruptive manifestation," Figueroa told a news conference.
"There is a map of shelters that could be used if that is an event that we hope to God does not happen," Figueroa said.
The 7,812-foot peak, also known as the Santa Ana Volcano, emitted clouds of gas and vapor and apparently spat out some glowing rock Aug. 27-29.
The head of El Salvador's Territorial Studies Service, Antonio Arenas, said the volcano began to show unusual activity in early August, and activity increased last Saturday.
"What had been small peaks of activity began to be bigger" as fresh magma has been detected entering the volcano's chambers 4 to 5 miles beneath the surface.
He said the seismic tremors are "characteristic of volcanos that have or that are going to have some kind of volcanic eruption."
The volcano erupted in 1920 and in 1904.