Nicaraguans flee as volcano spews ash
Nicaragua's tallest volcano has belched an ash cloud hundreds of metres into the sky in the latest bout of sporadic activity, prompting the evacuation of nearby residents.
The 1,745-metre San Cristobal volcano, which sits about 135km north of the capital Managua in the country's northwest, has been active in recent years, and went through a similar episode in September.
The latest activity began late on Tuesday.
Government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo called on residents who live within a 3km radius of the volcano to leave the area. About 300 families live near the volcano.
"We have some families who have self-evacuated. ... We ask (the people) to go to a safe place, it's just for a few days during this emergency," she said, adding it was a precautionary measure.
A billowing grayish cloud could be seen drifting sideways from the volcano's peak.
The volcano also stirred in mid-2008, when it expelled gas and rumbled with a series of small eruptions.