Izalco, a volcano of the republic and 36 m. N. W. of the city of San Salvador, in lat. 13° 15' N, Ion. 89° 44' W. It is one of the most curious volcanoes, and except Jorullo in Mexico the only one in the world that has risen from the level of the plain within the memory of man. A priest of Sonsonate, an eye-witness of its origin, related to Mr. Stephens the history and progress of its formation. In 1798, after a series of destructive earthquakes, dust and pebbles were observed rising from a fissure in the plain; soon after lava was upheaved, and this, together with large stones and other substances, gradually accumulated around the orifice until the vast isolated cone as it now stands was formed. It is contiguous to another mountain sufficiently elevated to afford from its crest a distinct view of the burning crater of the volcano; and the lurid flames and never-ending shower of incandescent stones issuing from it are clearly visible from Sonsonate, near by. Izalco is supposed to have had its origin from a deviation of the subterranean fire which animated the neighboring system of extinct volcanoes clustered around the great peak of Santa Ana. The eruptions, though incessant, are somewhat intermittent in regard to violence, and have often been disastrous to the adjacent town of Izalco. Dense columns of smoke are constantly emitted, and detonations like the rumblings of distant thunder are regularly repeated at intervals of from 5 to 15 minutes.

Vegetation is of course impossible on the brown arid flanks of the mountain, down which streams of liquid fire are occasionally seen to roll, offering a spectacle of terrific grandeur, especially by night. Its height at present is estimated at about 6,000 ft.; and, though some 40 m. from the coast, it serves as a convenient landmark for mariners, among whom it is sometimes designated el faro del Salvador.

Izalco #1

Izalco, a town of San Salvador, Central America, situated near the base of the preceding volcano, 36 m. N. W. of the city of San Salvador; pop. 5,000, chiefly Indians. It was once the centre of the most important cacao district in all America, and still preserves many evidences of past importance. Its fine large church was nearly destroyed by the earthquake of Dec. 8, 1859. The country around it is remarkably fertile and well watered.