A volcano has blasted a huge ash plume three miles into the atmosphere causing the mass evacuation of thousands of nearby residents.(Full story, with photos and video, here).
A 30-mile ash cloud quickly descended around San Cristobal, the highest volcano in Nicaragua, central America, after the eruption into the sky on Saturday.
Residents reported hearing three powerful explosions in the volcano as the cloud began billowing skyward and ash drifted over nearby villages.
... The plume formed a cloud extending out across 30-miles from the 5,725-foot San Cristobal volcano, which is situated about 95 miles north of the capital Managua in the country's volcano-dotted northwest, said the Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies (Ineter).
Javier Mejia, executive director of Ineter, which monitors seismic and volcanic activity, said he recommended that civil aviation authorities close down the air space near San Cristobal because of the ash plume and cloud, the largest recorded in recent years.