Plumes of ash and streams of lava from a volcanic eruption in Mexico have forced more than 300 residents to evacuate their homes in Colima, Mexico on Friday.
On Saturday, COO of the State System of Civil Protection Melchor Ursua Quiroz issued a statement regarding the evacuation of the residents.
“Temporary accommodations, which allow us to relocate 300 people from the communities of La Becerrera, La Yerbabeuna, and San Antonio in the municipality of Comala and other villages have already been opened.”
The volcano’s activity had started to increase on Friday, which ultimately led to it releasing large volumes of magma, he added.
It is located approximately 300 miles west of Mexico City, between the states of Jalisco and Colima. Lava could be seen flowing down its slope after its eruption.
The Colima Volcano — also called the Volcano of Fire by Mexicans — is one of the most active volcanoes in all of North America and has experienced more than 30 eruptions since 1585, including some pretty significant ones during the late 1990s. The volcano has been slowly erupting since early September.
Scientists began monitoring the volcano about 20 years ago.
Images of the volcano’s first eruption on Friday shows molten rocks spewing out of its mouth, with lava steadily streaming down its slope.
— SkyAlert (@SkyAlertMx) October 1, 2016
Earlier this year, similar eruptions had also forced evacuations. At that time, the interior ministry of Mexico said that the volcano was already showing signs of its first major eruption since 1913.
The Mexican National Civil Protection system posted a map of areas located close to the volcano that were in danger of being affected by its eruption.
— ProtecciónCivilSEGOB (@PcSegob) October 1, 2016
In the hamlet of Juan Barragan located in Jalisco state, 26 people were evacuated, according to a report from the state office. The local government of the nearby state of Colima was also able to evacuate 230 civilians from La Becerra and an additional 80 people from Yerbabuena were also evacuated. Both of the areas in Colima state were deemed as being “high risk.”
Citizens who are living near the volcano have been advised to keep their windows shut so that they can protect themselves from the falling ash. They have also been warned to stay away from ravines and rivers close to the volcano due to fears that the lava could end up going on the path of least resistance and make its way downhill.
A time-lapse video taken from a webcam that was observing the volcano’s peak shows the magnitude of its eruption as it rained down ash and molten rock on the surrounding area.
— Emmanuel Lazos (@Emmanuel_Lazos) October 1, 2016
The national government has posted a guide, warning people to cover their mouths and noses with wet handkerchiefs or face masks in case they come into contact with ash.
The Colima Volcano has been sending out hints that it was on the verge of having another major eruption back in January 2016 after it sent out ash clouds which reached nearly two miles in the atmosphere. Another volcano — Popocatepetl — also caused widespread concern all across Mexico earlier this year after it, too, showed signs that it was also on the verge of erupting.
The Colima Volcano is located in what is known as the “Ring of Fire,” an area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where a significant amount of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur. About 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes take place in the Ring of Fire. The area is believed to be the result of a scientific theory known as plate tectonics, which is defined as the collisions and movements of the Earth’s lithospheric plates.
[Featured Image by Dario Lopez-Mills/AP Images]