June 6, 2018

Guatemala warns of greater activity after volcano explodes again

Guatemala warns of greater activity after volcano explodes again

Guatemalan authorities on Wednesday warned the Fuego volcano was showing signs of greater activity as the death toll from a devastating eruption at the weekend climbed to 75 and almost 200 people remained missing.

View of the damage casued by the eruption of the Fuego Volcano in San Miguel Los Lotes, a village in Escuintla Department, about 35 km southwest of Guatemala City, on June 4, 2018.
At least 25 people were killed, according to the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conred), when Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupted Sunday, belching ash and rock and forcing the airport to close.. / AFP PHOTO /

The seismological, volcanic and meteorological institute Insivumeh heightened its warnings after the volcano erupted again earlier on Tuesday, forcing evacuations and sending rescue workers scrambling for cover.

The peak had its most devastating eruption in over four decades on Sunday, showering ash on a wide area and sending lava flows through nearby towns.

The national disaster agency, CONRED, said 192 people remained missing after the disaster and the forensic agency, Inacif, raised the death toll to no less than 75, up from 72.

“The conditions are extremely critical at this moment,” Insivumeh Director Eddy Sánchez told newsmen.

Volcan de Fuego, which means “Volcano of Fire” in Spanish, is one of several active volcanoes among 34 in the Central American country.

It lies near the colonial city of Antigua, a UNESCO world heritage site that has survived several major eruptions.

The latest activity has been mostly on the far side of the volcano, facing the Pacific coast.

The eruption on Sunday sent columns of ash and smoke 10km into the sky, dusting several regions with ash.

“Thousands of people have been evacuated,’’ CONRED said. (Reuters/NAN)