Ash rained down from the so-called “Volcano of Fire” in western Mexico and people living in its shadow were evacuated Saturday after it spectacularly erupted. The interior ministry said the volcano in Colima state could continue to spew lava before waning in a few weeks — or possibly experience its biggest eruption in more than a century.

More than 80 people were evacuated from nearby communities after the volcano sent a four-kilometer (2.5-mile) column of ash skyward late Friday. Ash and lava continued to flow out the crater on Saturday. One village at the foot of the mountain, Yerbabuena, was smothered in up to five centimeters (nearly two inches) of ash, authorities said, and rain also tumbled down, adding to the misery.

Ash traveled as far as the city of Colima, where residents wore masks as a thin layer of talc-like material covered streets and cars. “This is the strongest activity since 2005,” civil protection official Luis Felipe Puente told local radio. FULL REPORT