Hundreds evacuated in El Salvador as volcanic activity picks up

MEXICO CITY Mon May 19, 2014 4:26pm EDT

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - More than 1,000 people in El Salvador were evacuated from the area around the simmering Chaparrastique volcano in the east of the Central American country as a precautionary measure against a possible eruption, the government said on Monday.

Around 1,400 people have been moved from their homes since Sunday due to a jump in activity by the volcano, said Armando Vividor, operations chief of the country's emergency services.

The 2,130-meter (6,988-feet) Chaparrastique volcano, which is also known as San Miguel, lies about 140 km (87 miles) east of San Salvador.

It has erupted twice in the past six months. No lives were lost on either occasion.

El Salvador Environment Minister Hernan Rosa Chavez said the volcano was now experiencing higher levels of internal activity than during the first of those two eruptions in December.

(Reporting by Nelson Renteria, editing by G Crosse)

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