An eruption at Guatemala’s Volcan de Fuego, one of the most active volcanoes in Central America, has prompted an evacuation of the area surrounding the peak.
On Wednesday, volcanologists also observed explosive activity at the Santiaguito volcano in Quetzaltenango.
Guatemala’s National Institute for Seismology and Vulcanology are reporting that an ash column reaching 5,500 meters (18,000 feet) above sea level has emerged, while “moderate” lava flow is pouring out of the mountain.
“This pyroclastic flow was accompanied by moderate rumble of the volcano [and] fallen ash is reported in the villages of El Rodeo, La Rochelle, Osuna, Panimache, Morelia, Sangre de Cristo and Yepocapa,” a statement by the government agency confirmed.
EL MINISTERIO DE COMUNICACIONES A TRAVÉS DEL INSIVUMEH INFORMA: Boletín especial FUEGO #89-2016, Miér. 18/05/2016. pic.twitter.com/Me0I1say2O
— INSIVUMEH Guatemala (@insivumehgt) May 18, 2016
The alert also recommends that people steer clear of the canyon near the volcano.
Bombero de Antigua, a disaster relief team in the area, has tweeted that at least one school has been evacuated in the municipality of Alotenango.
— BOMBEROS DE ANTIGUA (@ASEIGUATEMALA) May 18, 2016
Pictures from the area show large clouds of ash rising from the Volcan de Fuego, which lies west of the old colonial city of Antigua Guatemala, and translates as “Volcano of Fire.”