‘Volcano of Fire’ erupts in Guatemala, prompting evacuations (PHOTOS)
A volcanic eruption at Guatemala’s Volcan de Fuego, one of the most active volcanoes in Central America, has sparked the evacuation of the area surrounding the peak.
Guatemala’s National Institute for Seismology and Vulcanology are reporting that an ash column reaching 5,500 meters (18,000 feet) above sea level has emerged, while “moderate” lava flow is pouring out of the mountain.
“This pyroclastic flow was accompanied by moderate rumble of the volcano [and] fallen ash is reported in the villages of El Rodeo, La Rochelle, Osuna, Panimache, Morelia, Sangre de Cristo and Yepocapa,” a statement by the government agency confirmed.
EL MINISTERIO DE COMUNICACIONES A TRAVÉS DEL INSIVUMEH INFORMA: Boletín especial FUEGO #89-2016, Miér. 18/05/2016. pic.twitter.com/Me0I1say2O— INSIVUMEH Guatemala (@insivumehgt) May 18, 2016
The alert also recommends that people steer clear of the canyon near the volcano.
Bombero de Antigua, a disaster relief team in the area, has tweeted that at least one school has been evacuated in the municipality of Alotenango.
Pictures from the area show large clouds of ash rising from the Volcan de Fuego, which lies west of the old colonial city of Antigua Guatemala, and translates as “Volcano of Fire.”
Fuerte erupción del volcán de Fuego vista desde la ciudad colonial. pic.twitter.com/BJkHpRpIgB— Proceso (@procesogt) May 18, 2016
Meanwhile, photos believed to have been taken at the La Reunion Golf Resort just 10 kilometers from the volcano show golfers standing directly in the path of the oncoming ash, apparently unconcerned about the smoke plumes billowing from the mountain heading their way.
Lanzamiento de lava muy cerca de comunidades aledañas volcán de fuego pic.twitter.com/Vw1eo71IaH— Ana Patricia Orizaba (@ana_orizaba) May 18, 2016
Guatemala is home to more than thirty volcanoes. On Wednesday, volcanologists also observed explosive activity at the Santiaguito volcano in Quetzaltenango.