Red alert after Guatemala volcano erupts again, 3,000 flee

Guatemala's Fuego volcano. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Guatemala City, Guatemala Nov 19, 2018, 04.29 PM (IST)

Guatemalan authorities on Monday declared a red alert after the Fuego volcano erupted again, forcing about 3,000 residents to flee.

A fiery glow rose from the crater of Fuego which is erupting for the fifth time this year, one month after the last one and following a June 3 rain of rocks, ash and toxic gases that left almost 200 people dead and 235 missing.

A spokesman for Guatemala's disaster management agency CONRED, David de Leon, said 214 residents who live on the slopes of Fuego, mostly in the southern municipality of Escuintla, were moved to safe zones and more will follow.

He said about 2,000 people in total have been asked to leave the area of the 3,763-meter (12,246-foot) volcano, 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Guatemala City.

Since the eruption began Sunday morning, lava rises 500 meters above Fuego's crater, while the ash column exceeds one kilometer above the volcanic cone and is causing a rain of particles, the Institute of Volcanology said.

The previous eruption lasted from October 12-13 with loud booms and lava flow. It caused the evacuation of 62 people and closed a highway.

Story highlights

Fuego is erupting for the fifth time this year, one month after the last one and following a June 3 rain of rocks, ash and toxic gases that left almost 200 people dead.