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70 evacuated following Colima volcano eruption in Mexico

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Clouds of ash fill the sky after an eruption by the Colima volcano, known as the Volcano of Fire, near the town of Comala, Mexico, Friday, July 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Sergio Tapiro Velasco)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Ash and cinders spewing Saturday from the Colima Volcano in western Mexico prompted authorities to evacuate more people from a nearby village, with at least 70 people staying at a shelter by late afternoon.

The volcano began erupting on Thursday and has become increasingly active, leading officials to relocate people from Yerbabuena and other communities in the municipality of Comala.

Civil protection officials described the volcano’s movements as “atypical,” a kind of activity not seen since it underwent a strong eruption in 1913.

The officials said Saturday the residents were taken to a temporary shelter. Residents of other communities in the neighboring state of Jalisco were evacuating voluntarily.

Earlier in the day, 19 evacuees were reported, but the number rose to 70 by the afternoon when explosions of incandescent material shot out as far as five miles.

Authorities were standing by ready to evacuate more people if necessary and were planning to distribute surgical masks that people could use to cover their noses and mouths.

The department reported that two inches of ash had fallen on Yerbabuena.

The Colima Volcano, which sits near the border of the western states of Colima and Jalisco, is also known as the Volcano of Fire.