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Thousands relocate due to eruption in Nicaragua

Thousands relocate due to eruption in NicaraguaThis past Saturday, the tallest volcano in Nicaragua started to erupt and as a result shot a huge ash cloud into the atmosphere.  Scientists estimate that the ash was propelled about a mile into the sky.  As a result of this eruption, about 3,000 people relocated out of the immediate area.

The San Cristobal volcano, which is located almost 100 miles north of the country’s capital of Managua, is a majestic 5,725 feet high.  It has been active in the past few years and there have been several eruptions and explosions.  In 2008 the volcano started to expel gas and then had a small eruption, which also caused locals to evacuate; however, most families moved back shortly thereafter.  In 2009 the volcano spewed ash and gases on the towns nearby.

So far, only people with homes immediately surrounding San Cristobal have had to move for a temporary period of time, but experts say that as many as 20,000 people might be asked to leave.  This has not happened yet, as officials are still assessing the strength of the current activity.

While you probably do not live in Nicaragua, you might live in an area with an active volcano.  There are about 169 active volcanoes in the United States, though most of them are located in Alaska.  There, eruptions happen about once a year.  If you do live in an area with an active volcano, it is important that you prepare for future eruptions by having a volcano evacuation plan standing by.

Jon Huser

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