Volcan Chaparrastique (San Miquel) erupted on Sunday.
A new eruption began at the volcano this morning at 10:50 am local time. A strong vulcanian-type explosion produced an ash plume of unknown but considerable (several km) height.
According to local press, ash fall was expected in the town of Chinameca and Civil Protection has begun evacuations of families residing in a radius of 3 km around the volcano.
About 5,000 people live in the area, according to civil protection officials. So far, no one has been reported hurt.
The 7,025-foot volcano is located about 30 miles from the city of San Miguel and about 90 miles east of the capital San Salvador. Its last major eruption occurred in 1976.
Santos Osorio, a member of a local coffee growers union, told Reuters that heavy ash was falling on coffee plantations. El Salvador’s coffee output has already been reduced by an outbreak of leaf rust.
Mm, more expensive coffee then!
The symmetrical cone of San Miguel volcano, one of the most active in El Salvador, rises from near sea level to form one of the country’s most prominent landmarks. The unvegetated summit of the 2130-m-high volcano rises above slopes draped with coffee plantations. A broad, deep crater complex that has been frequently modified by historical eruptions (recorded since the early 16th century) caps the truncated summit of the towering volcano, which is also known locally as Chaparrastique. Radial fissures on the flanks of the basaltic-andesitic volcano have fed a series of historical lava flows, including several erupted during the 17th-19th centuries that reached beyond the base of the volcano on the north, NE, and SE sides. The SE-flank lava flows are the largest and form broad, sparsely vegetated lava fields crossed by highways and a railroad skirting the base of the volcano. The location of flank vents has migrated higher on the edifice during historical time, and the most recent activity has consisted of minor ash eruptions from the summit crater.
The last activity report from Smithsonian was 2011
23 March-29 March 2011
Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (SNET) reported that during a survey of the San Miguel crater on 9 and 16 March observers noted pulses of gas rising 200 m from the crater. On 12 March the number and amplitude of earthquakes increased. RSAM values rose the next day to 121 units per day on average, up from normal values around 50 units per day. RSAM values continued to fluctuate during the next few days and reached as high as 319 units on 19 March, 414 units on 20 March, and 234 on 21 March. On 18 and 20 March, local residents felt vibrations and heard minor rumbling. Observations on 25 March indicated that gas plumes rose 100 m from the crater. On 28 March SNET noted that seismicity had gradually decreased during the previous few days, and was as low as 80 RSAM units on 27 March. Access to areas within a 2-km-radius remained restricted.