San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Volcanoes

Nicaragua's Momotombo Volcano erupts for first time in 110 years

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Nicaragua’s Momotombo Volcano erupted Wednesday for the first time in 110 years. The explosion of gases, ash and small quantities of lava was not initially expected to be dangerous to the population because the debris fell in remote locations, Nicaraguan officials said.

“It’s a beautiful sight,” volcanologist Armando Saballos, from the Nicaraguan Institute of Land Studies, told local Channel 6. “But it’s dangerous to be near the volcano.”

Momotombo is 1,297 meters high and is located on the edge of Lake Xolotlán, 40 kilometers northwest of the capital. Its last important eruption was in 1905.

The volcano awoke on Tuesday morning and spewed gas and ashes that increased throughout the day, causing some rural residents to abandon the area, the government said on its website.

“The volcanic activity could last several days,” first lady and official spokeswoman Rosario Murillo, told local media outlets. But initially “there’s no cause for alarm,” she said.

Momotombo’s first recorded explosion was in 1522. At the start of the 17th century, strong volcanic activity from the colossus accompanied by earthquakes destroyed the original city of León, one of the first Spanish settlements in Nicaragua.

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