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Montserrat Orders Evacuations as Volcano Shoots Ash Into Sky

Officials on the Caribbean island of Montserrat have ordered some residents to evacuate their homes because of a threat from the Soufriere Hills volcano.

The volcano shot out a cloud of ash more than eight kilometers high on Monday. Lava flows along the ground traveled between 1.5 and five kilometers from the volcano.

Governor Deborah Barnes Jones said people in the affected area should work urgently on packing and arranging another place to live. She said police will prosecute those who remain in unsafe areas.

The Soufriere Hills volcano became active in 1995. An eruption in 1997 buried much of the southern part of Montserrat, including the capital of Plymouth.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.