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El Salvador volcano erupts

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Some 2000 people were evacuated in eastern El Salvador when the Chaparrastique volcano belched and spewed a column of ashes high into the sky.

The 2330 metre high volcano began erupting around 1630 GMT (0330 AEDT)and authorities suspended scores of flights across parts of the small Central American country. No victims were reported.

The volcano belched for about 2.5 hours, the environmental ministry said.

President Mauricio Funes late Sunday took to the airwaves to tell his nation that, while the eruptions seemed to have ceased, there could be more volcanic activity in the next days.

The eruption produced a dense column of gas and ashes that rose more than 5,000 metres into the air. Debris from the blast was spread in a radius of up to 10 kilometres from the volcano, he said.

The eruption “has not caused victims or serious damage,” Funes said.

Civil Defence chief Jorge Melendez warned that wind could carry smoke and ash from the Chaparrastique to Tegucigalpa, the capital of neighbouring Honduras.

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