Guatemalans told to evacuate as the country’s ‘volcano of fire’ begins to erupt

  • Several Guatemalan communities were told to evacuate on Monday as the country’s most active volcano begins to erupt for the third time in 2018.
  • The National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) urged eight communities to leave their homes, but later tweeted some weren’t going.
  • The 12,346-feet (3,763-meter) “Volcano de Fuego” or “Volcano of Fire” is emitting “400-meter incandescent pulses,” the disaster coordinator said on Sunday.
  • It’s the volcano’s third eruption in 2018, after one in June killed 194 people.

Eight communities in south Guatemala, comprising hundreds of people, have been told to evacuate their homes on Monday as a volcano – called the “Volcano of Fire” – started to erupt.

David de León, the spokesman for the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) said eight nearby communities should leave now, he told the Associated Press (AP.)

A disaster statement from CONRED on Sunday said there are “incandescent pulses that reach up to 400 meters above the crater.”

As well as these pulses, they said there are 5,000-meter ash columns coming from the volcano which are spreading across a radius of 25 kilometers to the west.

They said there is also a 2,500-meter lava flow, and explosion levels have gone up from moderate to strong. They say this is causing avalanches around the crater.

The agency tweeted that they were facing resistance from some 300 families who won’t leave the nearby areas of Chuchú and Escuintla early on Monday morning.

CONRED have been regularly updating their Twitter page with evacuation news.

The volcano is the most active in the country according to Guatemala’s National Institute for Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology, and Hydrology, AP reported.

It’s located near Antigua, about 27 miles west from the country’s capital “Guatemala City” and it began to glow orange and yellow on Sunday night, prompting the evacuation.

Guatemala map
The volcano, located in the Central American county of Guatemala Google Maps

One of eleven active volcanoes in the country, it last erupted in June 2018, killing 194 people and leaving 234 people missing, AP reported.

The damage was widespread after the eruption in June, with this aerial footage showing the effect of the lava, smoke, and ash on the countryside:

Ruqayyah Moynihan, INSIDER’s Associate Translation Editor, also contributed to this report.