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Colima Volcano in western Mexico erupts, spewing towering plume of ash , spilling lava

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MEXICO CITY — A volcano in western Mexico has erupted, spewing ash more than 4 miles (7 kilometers) into the air and sending lava down its flanks.

The activity at the Colima Volcano began Thursday and continued Friday morning. The volcano is also known as the Volcano of Fire.

PHOTO: Lava flows down the banks of the Colima Volcano, also known as the Volcano of Fire, near the town of Comala, Mexico, Friday, July 10, 2015. The Colima volcano has erupted, spewing ash more than 4 miles (7 kilometers) into the air and releasing some quantity of lava. People were advised to recognize a 3-mile (5-kilometer) perimeter around the peak. (AP Photo/Sergio Tapiro Velasco)
Lava flows down the banks of the Colima Volcano, also known as the Volcano of Fire, near the town of Comala, Mexico, Friday, July 10, 2015. The Colima volcano has erupted, spewing ash more than 4 miles (7 kilometers) into the air and releasing some quantity of lava. People were advised to recognize a 3-mile (5-kilometer) perimeter around the peak. (AP Photo/Sergio Tapiro Velasco)

Luis Felipe Puente is director of Mexico's civil protection agency. He tweeted Friday that preventive protocols were activated.

A statement from Colima state's civil protection agency on Thursday said the initial eruption occurred just after 11 a.m. Ash was falling to the southwest of the crater. People were advised to recognize a 3-mile (5-kilometer) perimeter around the peak.

A state helicopter was making a reconnaissance flight Friday morning.

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