Most of its 3,000 residents abandoned the island’s capital Monday as a volcano two and a half miles to the east threatened to blow its top.
Police blocked entry to the town, nearly deserted after a weekend evacuation order that sent about one-third of the Caribbean island’s 12,000 people fleeing to safer ground in the north.
The Soufriere Hills volcano woke up in July after 300 years of dormancy.
Scientists spotted lava seething to the top when they flew over Sunday, and saw signs Monday that a lava dome inside the crater was becoming unstable, threatening to send lava spilling over the side, government spokesman Claude Hogan said.
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