to updateGuatemalan authorities said that the Fuego volcano, near the capital Guatemala City and the most active in Central America, erupted on Thursday in Guatemala. Ash clouds were expelled from up to six kilometers high. In nearby villages and towns, more than a thousand residents were preemptively evacuated.
“Increased activity of Fuego volcano has been confirmed,” Disaster Response Coordination Authority (Conried) said. The agency stated that the “pyroclastic flows” are a mixture of gas, water vapor and debris at extremely high temperatures, and ash rains down on seven nearby villages. The ash plume over Fuego reached over 6,000 meters above sea level.
Oscar Cosio, a civil defense official, said 1,045 people from five communities at the base of the volcano had been evacuated and taken to a sports hall. Thirteen emergency shelters have been opened in four nearby cities that can accommodate about 7,600 people.
The National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology, and Hydrology (Insivumeh) also warned of a possible mud and debris flow from the expected rainfall. Conried said the eruption began early Thursday morning, warning of the risk of the situation deteriorating.
35 kilometers from the capital
The Fuego volcano, at an altitude of 3,763 meters, is located just 35 kilometers 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 city of Antigua and the south of the country.
On June 3, 2018, a fire cloud from the volcano engulfed the village of San Miguel Los Lotus, killing 215 people and leaving an equal number missing.
Two more active volcanoes in Guatemala: Santiaguito (in the west of the country) and Pacaya (in the south).
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