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Nicaragua’s San Cristobal Volcano Calming Down

Sep 10, 2012 09:26 AM EDT

Nicaragua's San Cristobal volcano, which erupted Saturday prompting evacuation of nearly 3,000 residents, has shown some signs of calming down , said a report from Nicaragua Dispatch.

Saturday's volcanic eruption is said to have occurred around 8.45 a.m. in the department of Chinandega in Nicaragua, which forced the officials to evacuate 3,000 residents living in nearby 16 communities and moved them to temporary shelters. Several residents living in nearby areas witnessed the volcano spewing ash into the atmosphere. "I have seen it bring ashes, but not like now," Jose Espinoza, one of the residents living nearby the volcano, told CNN.

"It surprised us because it is a powerful volcano and to see it like this would make anyone panic," he said.

According to the CNN report, Nicaraguans heard at least three explosions that were followed by a plume of ash and smoke that spewed two-and-a-half miles into the atmosphere.  At least 300 army troops were deployed to evacuate the residents.

Periodic explosions were also said to have continued on Sunday with ash filling up the skies. Although the eruption is calming down, the government's emergency response system known as SINAPRED is still maintaining an alert as a preventive measure in departments of Chinandega and León., the report from Nicaragua Dispatch said.

The report pointed out that schools in Chinandega will be closed Monday as the government and the local residents will join hands to work together and clean up the areas including schools that got filled with ash. Other departments including health and agriculture are working at full steam to estimate the impact of the eruption on hospitals, crops and water supplies.  

San Cristobal is one of the most active volcanoes of Nicaragua. The volcano is said to have been active since 1520. The weekend volcanic eruption was said to be larger than the 2006 eruption, as reported by the Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies (INETER).

Nicaragua has been on alert ever since the country's capital Managua felt 17 tremors last Thursday following a massive earthquake that hit Costa Rica. The volcano eruption has put the entire country on high alert.

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