Guatemala volcano erupts killing 25 people

Photos taken near the Fuego volcano show the volcano spewing black smoke. (AFP)

Photos taken near the Fuego volcano show the volcano spewing black smoke. (AFP)

25 people were killed and scores more injured when the Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupted.

The event affected more than 1.7 million people with ash from the volcano reaching more than 10 thousand meters above sea level, according to the National Coordination for Disaster Reduction of Guatemala (CONRED). CONRED noted that ash reached cities 40 kilometres northwest of the eruption and that volcanic matter known as pyroclastic flow permeated ravines. The volcano not only affected the population, but it also affected Guatemala City’s international airport and destroyed a bridge.

After the eruption, CONRED released a statement warning Guatemalans of “falling ash and small rocks” in the areas near the cities of Chimaltenango, Sacatepéquez and Escuintla. It recommended that people near affected areas should evacuate and to take measures to protect breathing and cover food.

The Guatemalan National Institute for Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology announced that the volcano ended on Sunday night; However there might be mudslides containing volcanic matter and more eruptions, according to CNN.

In a statement released on Sunday night, Guatemala President Jimmy Morales talked about the “deep pain” that the country suffered due to the eruption and how the deaths due to the volcano are “irreparable”, according to BBC. Morales also declared three days of mourning.

According to CNN, Guatemala is located in the Ring of Fire, which is an area riddled with “intense seismic activity.” The Fuego volcano is one of the Ring of Fire’s most active volcanoes.

This is the second time that the volcano has erupted this year. This is Guatemala’s deadliest volcanic eruption since 1902, according to BBC.

Arielle Schwartz

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