SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador - El Salvador's Chaparrastique volcano has spouted a plume of ash and hot gases, and officials said the ash could move close to the capital.

The country's environment minister says the plume was between 1,500 metres and 2,000 metres (yards) high. Lina Pohl said Tuesday that appropriate warnings were in place.

The director of El Salvador's civil defence office said the expulsion of ash and gas was a positive sign.

Melendez said "the risk of a larger eruption is less."