New Mexico volcano erupts, killing 1,000 people

NEW MEXICO — A volcano in New Mexico erupted Saturday and killed at least 1,200 people in a second eruption that killed at a rate of about 2,500 people a day.

A team of scientists and residents from the state of New Mexico and surrounding states were called to the scene of the explosion at Mount San Pedro in southern New Mexico, according to the New Mexico Division of Emergency Management.

The explosion occurred about 11:30 a.m. local time, and the number of dead was unclear, said Brian Jones, an emergency management spokesman.

Some of the injured were in critical condition at a hospital in Santa Fe, and others were still in hospitals.

“It was a very intense blast,” said Bill McCall, who was walking down the street when he heard the explosion.

“It sounded like a jet engine.”

The Associated Press is not naming the victims because of the ongoing investigation.

It was the deadliest volcano eruption in New Zealand since 1986, when a massive explosion in New Plymouth killed more than 100 people.

More than 1,100 people were killed by a massive volcano in southern Japan, which has a population of about 1.3 million.

Mount Fuji, a Japanese volcano, erupted late Saturday and a tsunami warning was issued for the entire country.

An eruption of the same magnitude is common in parts of South America, but it is rare in Japan.