PRAIA (Reuters) - A volcano in the Cape Verde archipelago off the coast of West Africa erupted on Sunday morning, the prime minister said, calling for residents to evacuate.
A photograph posted on the local RTC TV station website showed a huge plume of smoke rising into the sky, visible from the capital Praia on a neighbouring island.
“Things could deteriorate in the coming moments, in the coming hours,” Jose Maria Neves in a statement on the government website.
“We’ve called on people to heed the authorities’ instructions. People should abandon Cha das Caldeiras,” he said referring to a hillside community.
It was not immediately clear if there were injuries or deaths following the eruption. The volcano last erupted in 1995, causing minor damage. A larger eruption occurred in 1951.
The government planned to send a plane providing assistance to residents, Neves added.
The former Portuguese colony is located about 600 km (400 miles) off the coast of Senegal. Fogo’s volcanic peak, surrounded by vineyards, is a hiking destination.
Writing by Emma Farge; Additional reporting by Andrei Khalip in Lisbon; editing by Andrew Roche