El Salvador is a land shaped by volcanoes. San Miguel currently just fumes and shakes gently. But San Salvador volcano had a major eruption in the 1940s; the ancient village at Joya de Cerén -- the "American Pompeii" -- was destroyed without warning in AD 650; and the region was totally depopulated by a massive blowup around AD 300. The caldera is now Lake Ilopango.


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