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‘Central American Volcano of Fire’ Erupts

The Fuego Volcano, located less than 30 miles outside of Guatemala City, has erupted once again, sending ash, gas, and rocks down the mountainside. The country’s National Disaster Reduction Commission reports that this is the most significant eruption in several years. The stratovolcano has been erupting since 2002, and authorities have been closely monitoring pyroclastic flows, which contain gases, ashes, and other volcanic material.

Several small villages have been evacuated as a preventative measure due to the threat of impact from these downslope flows. Guatemala’s National Institute for Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology, and Hydrology reports that many of the communities nearest to the summit are poor without substantial transportation. These hardships likely contributed to dozens of deaths during a violent 2018 eruption event.

During the historic episode, NASA reported that ash was detected more than four miles in the air, and avalanche-like pyroclastic flows buried villages. Authorities have not reported that the impacts from the recent event are similar to historical episodes but warn weak, moderate, and even strong pyroclastic flows cannot be ruled out. Ash has been reported more than 20 miles primarily west and southwest of the volcano due to prevailing winds.

Guatemala is home to more than 30 volcanoes, with three considered active: Pacaya, Fuego, and Santa Maria. The Global Volcanism Program reports activity on Pacaya and Santiaguito has been limited in recent years and not nearly in as heightened of a state as Fuego.

Source : GVS