Security Message for U.S. Citizens – Recent Heightened Activity at Momotombo Volcano

The U.S. Embassy in Managua advises all U.S. citizens currently in or planning visits to Nicaragua that the Momotombo Volcano, located between Managua and León on the northwest shore of Lake Managua, has become active with lava flow and emission of ash, gas, and rock.  According to media reports, Nicaraguan officials are monitoring the activity and have recommended that people stay at least six kilometers away from the volcano, and the Ministry of Education has suspended classes in communities near the volcano.  Nicaraguan civil aviation authorities have encouraged airlines flying near the volcano to exercise caution and report that Sandino International Airport continues normal operations.

All U.S. citizens in areas near the volcano should monitor local news, geological and emergency management information sources such as INETER and SINAPRED. U.S. citizens with travel plans in or out of Nicaragua should also contact their airlines for flight status.

If there is a significant eruption or other dangerous situation caused by the volcano and you are in affected areas:

  • Follow evacuation orders issued by authorities and evacuate immediately from the volcano area to avoid flying debris, hot gases, lateral blast, and lava flow.
  • If you are unable to evacuate, and in order to protect yourself from falling ash, you should remain indoors with doors, windows and ventilation closed until the ash settles.
  • Use a dust mask or hold a damp cloth over your face to help with breathing.
  • Stay away from areas downwind from the volcano to avoid volcanic ash.

Other guidance on what to do during a volcanic event can be found at http://www.ready.gov/volcanoes.

The U.S. Embassy in Managua is located at Km 5 ½ C. Sur Managua, Nicaragua.  The U.S. Embassy in Managua can be reached 24/7 at 011-505-2252-7100.  For emergencies (deaths, arrests, etc.) after hours, U.S. citizens can call this phone number and ask for the Embassy Duty Officer.  The American Citizen Services unit is also available by email during regular business hours at ACS.Managua@state.gov.

General information regarding consular services is available by calling 011-505-2252-7104.  Routine services such as passports and notarial services require an appointment; you can schedule an appointment online.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Embassy’s website and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information can be found.  The U.S. Embassy also encourages U.S. citizens to review “A Safe Trip Abroad“, which includes valuable security information for those both living and traveling abroad.  In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.