The eruption of the Colima volcano has led to the evacuation of 340 people and the declaration of emergency in five municipalities of the western Mexican state of Colima, large parts of which are covered with ash. The volcano has continued to spew incandescent material leading to a restriction on movement in a 12-km (7.5-mile) radius around the base of the volcano and the preventive evacuation of some 500 people from the communities of La Yerbabuena, La Becerrera and others.
Some 170 people have been placed in a shelter made by Colima’s government in a school in Comala and monitored by state and municipal police, two medical units and two multi-utility vans provided by the state health secretary.
Preventive evacuations have also been carried out in the communities of Juan Barragan, Los Machos, Caucentla, Cofradia and El Agostadero in the Tonila municipality.
Some 170 people from the above mentioned communities have been put in a shelter in San Marcos that also holds evacuees from the municipality of Zapotitlan de Vadillo.
Volcanic ash has reached the municipality of Autlan de Navarro in the state of Jalisco, some 220 km (137 miles) from the volcano, Jalisco state Civil Protection authorities said on Twitter. Poor visibility on account of the ash has forced authorities to close the highway between Colima and San Jose del Carmen in Jalisco, Colima’s government said.
Meanwhile, Mexico’s Civil Protection of the Ministry of Interior Sunday issued an emergency in the municipalities of Colima, Comala, Coquimatlan, Cuauhtemoc and Villa de Alvarez in the state of Colima thus making available resources from the Emergency Fund to attend to the basic food, shelter and medical needs of the people affected.
Experts say the recent volcanic activity, reaching heights of up to 7 km (4 miles), is the largest explosion by the volcano in the last century. Meanwhile, Colima’s national airport operations remain suspended due to the ash falling in the area.
Colima, which rises to a height of 3,820 meters (12,525 feet) above sea level, is one of Mexico’s most active volcanoes along with Popocatepetl, which straddles the central states of Mexico, Puebla and Morelos.