Six-kilometer-high ash cloud after volcano erupts in Guatemala, more than a thousand evacuees | Abroad
UPDATEIn Guatemala, the Fuego volcano, near the capital Guatemala City and the most active in Central America, erupted on Thursday, Guatemalan authorities report. Ash clouds were ejected up to six kilometers high. In neighboring towns and villages, more than a thousand inhabitants were evacuated as a preventive measure.
“An increase in the activity of the Fuego volcano has been confirmed,” said the Disaster Response Coordination (Conred). The agency reports “pyroclastic flows”, a mixture of gas, water vapor and debris at very high temperatures, raining ash on seven nearby villages. The column of ash above the Fuego reached a height of more than 6,000 meters above sea level.
Oscar Cossio, a civil defense official, said 1,045 people were evacuated from five communities at the base of the volcano and taken to a gym. Thirteen emergency shelters have been opened in four neighboring towns with capacity for around 7,600 people.
The National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (Insivumeh) has also warned of possible mudslides and debris from the forecast rainfall. The eruption began early Thursday morning, Conred said, warning of the risk of the situation worsening.
35 kilometers from the capital
The Fuego volcano, located at 3,763 meters above sea level, is only 35 km from the capital. The volcano erupts on average every four to five years. Its last eruption in December 2022 forced the closure of Guatemala’s international airport, as well as a busy road between the tourist town of Antigua and the south of the country.
On June 3, 2018, a cloud of fire from the volcano buried the village of San Miguel Los Lotes, killing 215 people and leaving as many missing.
Two other volcanoes are active in Guatemala: Santiaguito (in the west of the country) and Pacaya (in the south).
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