December 10, 1998

Mexico's 'Volcano of Fire' roars back to life


                  GUADALAJARA, Mexico (Reuters) -- Mexico's "Volcano of Fire" roared
                  back to life Thursday, spewing lava and setting off seismic tremors after a
                  period of relative calm, authorities said.

                  The "Volcano of Fire," also known as the Colima volcano, is about 480
                  kilometers (300 miles) west of Mexico City.

                  "Monitoring stations indicate that in the past 24 hours the volcano has
                  suffered a substantial increase in activity," civilian protection officials said in a
                  statement. "It continues to produce lava flows, but so far none of them have
                  gone farther than 4.5 km (three miles)."

                  The volcano began erupting last month, forcing the evacuation on November
                  18 of hundreds of local villagers, who were allowed back home December
                  1. The 14,320-foot-high (4,339-meter-high) volcano sits amid farmland on
                  the border of Colima and Jalisco states.

                  Another volcano closer to Mexico City kept on rumbling Thursday.
                  Popocatepetl, some 65 kilometers (40 miles) southeast of the capital,
                  repeated intermittent exhalations and an occasional explosion, sending
                  periodic clouds of smoke and vapor into the air, officials said.

                  "Popo," as the 17,992-foot-high (5,452-meter-high) volcano is known,
                  began acting up at about the same time as Colima last month, showering its
                  flanks with lava. Authorities called the dual activity a coincidence.

                  Copyright 1998   Reuters.