MANAGUA, Nicaragua — At least 46 minor gas and ash explosions accompanied by seven microearthquakes have been recorded at the Telica volcano, in northwestern Nicaragua, since it increased its activity Thursday, the government reported Monday.
“Activity at the Telica volcano has continued, there have been 46 explosions already” and seven quakes under 3.8 degrees Richter, some of which have been felt by people, first lady and government spokesperson Rosario Murillo told local media.
The strongest explosion occurred Sunday night, when the 1,061-meter high volcano in the western province of León expelled gas, ashes and incandescent rocks which fell on dried vegetation, causing fires which alarmed nearby communities.
The Nicaraguan geological agency said the seismic activity remained within normal range for the time being.
Telica is located about 112 kilometers northwest of the Nicaraguan capital Managua.
More than 2,400 people live near the colossus, according to the Army Civil Defense corp. in León.
“There is no danger, no extreme activity, that indicates an evacuation is necessary,” said the director of Nicaragua’s disaster prevention agency, Guillermo Gonzalez, speaking to Channel 8.
But three evacuation centers were set up in nearby towns in case Telica‘s activity increases.
Telica‘s last major eruption was in 1948, though activity occurs every few years.
Nicaragua has at least 27 active volcanoes.
Experts from the Nicaraguan Institute for Territorial Studies say that no lava has been expelled with the eruptions, according to Murillo.
She said ash has fallen in small amounts on the nearby cities of Posoltega, El Realejo and Puerto Corinto, on the Pacific coast.