The San Cristobal volcano, located just outside the city of Chichigalpa and atop Nicaragua's tallest mountain, began spewing clouds of ash and gas on Saturday morning.
The BBC is reporting that members of the Nicaraguan military were sent to the area to help evacuate nearly 3,000 people. Rosario Murillo, a government spokesman, said the number of those requiring evacuation could reach 20,000. The eruption is sending gas and ash clouds as high as 2.5 miles into the air.
ABC News quotes Guillermo Gonzalez, head of the the government emergency and disaster relief agency, as saying: "We already have nearly the entire apparatus underway. A response plan exists for volcano eruptions and every community has clearly defined places for people to go to once they are evacuated."
San Cristóbal erupts in Nicaragua on Sept. 8, 2012.
Nicaragua has been on alert for nearly a week after an earthquake hit neighbouring Costa Rica. Javier Mejia, director of Nicaragua's geological institute, said they have been monitoring the volcano and their instruments had showed "strong activity".
The San Cristobal volcano is the highest active volcano in all of Nicaragua, measuring 5,700 feet in height. It is considered the most active volcano in the volcano complex, which consists of 5 different volcanoes according to Vidnica. It last erupted in 2004.