About 1,400 people were evacuated after the volcano Chaparrastique erupted in eastern El Salvador, Interior Minister Ernesto Zelayandia said.
No injuries were reported.
Authorities ordered the evacuation in the San Miguel region after the eruption Saturday, ElSalvador.com reported Sunday.
The volcano erupted at 10:30 a.m. for the first time in 37 years.
Residents reported hearing what sounded like a bang followed by an explosion, then seeing a thick column of ash spew into the air.
The Directorate of Civil Protection declared an orange, or high-risk, alert for the region.
When officials reported Chaparrastique had been showing increased activity since Dec. 13, some residents of San Miguel and San Jorge Chinameca began to seek safety elsewhere, ElSalvador.com said. Others, however, said they were caught unaware.
"We caught by surprise," said Maria del Carmen Gomez, 74, who lives in Canton Las Placitas in Chinameca.
Authorities also were caught flat-footed, ElSalvador.com said, reporting that officials couldn't agree on how to address the emergency 3 hours after the eruption began.
"The authorities were slow. We got ready our things, but we never moved," said Rosa Recinos of Miramar. "For our children, it is a difficult situation."
Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Original headline: 1,400 evacuated after volcanic eruption in eastern El Salvador
Most Popular Stories
- High-Tech Home Theaters Undergoing a Revolution
- Amazon Prime Grabs Classic HBO TV Series
- Wellness Programs Grow More Popular With Employers
- Procter & Gamble Income Up on Cost Cutting
- Sales of New Homes Fell 14.5 Percent in March
- Obama Opens Japan Trip with Sushi Stop
- #myNYPD Twitter Campaign Backfires for NYPD
- Google, SunPower Team Up on Solar Power
- FedEx Sued Over Deadly California Bus Crash
- Boeing Flying High With Strong First Quarter