News World Thousands flee as Guatemala volcano erupts

Thousands flee as Guatemala volcano erupts

Fuego volcano erupting as seen from Alotenango, 65 km southwest of Guatemala City. Photo: Getty
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Nearly 4000 people have been evacuated from areas around Guatemala’s Fuego volcano, which began violently erupting overnight, the country’s disaster agency Conred says.

The volcano spewed out dangerous flows of fast-moving clouds of hot ash, lava and gas early on Monday and more than 2000 people had taken refuge in shelters so far, officials from the agency told reporters. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

More dangerous flows of hot ash and lava could be expelled, said Juan Pablo Oliva, the head of the country’s seismological, volcanic and meteorological institute Insivumeh.

Residents of several communities nearby the erupting Fuego volcano, stay at a temporary shelter in Escuintla department, 35 km south of Guatemala City. Photo: Getty

In June, explosive flows from Fuego killed more than 190 people, and left at least 234 missing, although organisations supporting the communities have insisted there are thousands of missing persons.

It spewed more ash and lava in October, prompting warnings for the nearby communities.

This is the fifth eruption so far this year of the 3763-metre volcano, one of the most active in Central America, about 30km south of Guatemala City.

The volcano is located among the departments of Escuintla, Chimaltenango and Sacatepequez in the south-central part of the country.

David de Leon, spokesman for the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction, said monitoring of the volcano’s activity during Sunday showed the intensity of the eruption was being maintained, so the evacuation was called to protect people.