VIDEO: Volcano Erupts In El Salvador, Ash And Gas Soar | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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VIDEO: Volcano Erupts In El Salvador, Ash And Gas Soar

The first eruption of eastern El Salvador's Chaparrastique volcano in 37 years sent ash and gas soaring as much as six miles into the air on Sunday and led authorities to evacuate thousands of people from their homes.

According to the country's Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, the volcano blew at 10:30 a.m. local time (11:30 a.m. ET) on Sunday. It estimates the cloud of ash and gas rose 5 to 10 kilometers high (about 3 to 6 miles).

The eruption led several airlines to cancel flights into and out of El Salvador on Sunday, CNN says, in order to avoid the ash cloud.

As the environment ministry's live webcast of the volcano shows, things are much calmer today. But "gases and vapors" do continue to pour from its top, the ministry notes.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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