Hawaii is not the only area under the massive threat of a volcano’s eruption. Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupted on Sunday for the second time this year. The blast has left at least 25 people dead and 20 injured. But officials have warned of continued volcanic activity.
The volcanic eruption spewed a river of hot lava and sent thick clouds of spoke almost six miles into the air. News of the devastation came through CONRED, the government’s national coordinator for disaster reduction.
The government urged residents living near the volcano to evacuate immediately and warned residents of the towns of Chimaltenango, Sacatepequez and Escuintla to watch out for volcanic rocks and ash.
Volcano Eruption May Affect 1.7 Million People
The volcanic activity may affect 1.7 million people, said Sergio García Cabañas, director of CONRED. Already more than 3,100 people have been evacuated from their homes. Search and rescue efforts continue into the night, Cabañas said.
The volcano’s name means fire, it is one of Central America’s most active volcanos. It is located near the colonial city of Antigua. The massive explosion on Sunday poured soot over the popular tourist destination and other villages in the Sacatepéquez department.
Only a small amount of ash reached the capital of Guatemala City some 25 miles away. But it forced the closure of its international airport. The Guatemalan Army shared images of officers clearing the runway with push brooms.
Fuego volcano is still exploding, said Eddy Sánchez, director of the National Institute for Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology of Guatemala known as INSIVUMEH. He warned of mudslides as rainfall continues, and urged people to stay off roads close to the volcano.
Surrounding Countries Offer Help
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto expressed condolences and offered assistance.
“All our solidarity and support to the President Jimmy Morales and the Guatemalan people for the loss of human life after the eruption of the volcano of Fire.”
El Salvador’s president was quick to respond. He offered his condolences by Twitter and said his country stood ready to assist its neighbor. Israel’s ambassador to Guatemala as well as the Mayor of Puerto Rico also expressed their solidarity with Guatemala.