Major Eruption of the Fuego Volcano

For many people in the vicinity of the Fuego Volcano, today began with a big bang. For the second time this year, the volcano has entered a major eruptive phase and is spitting out large amounts of ash, grit and lava.

According to Insivumeh (the Guatemalan Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology), the eruption is the strongest in at least five years.

The explosions of the Fuego Volcano have gone on throughout the day. Volcanic ash and grit is thrown high into the air and has fallen on a large area around the volcano. Some ash fall is reported from places as far away as Guatemala City, Quiche and Zacapa.

Unlike the previous eruption in February, which caused only material damage, at least 25 people lost their lives today when their homes on the slopes of the Fuego Volcano were buried by streams of water, mud and lava. Hardest hit was apparently the village of San Miguel Los Lotes in the department of Escuintla, where 18 people perished.

Here in Antigua, which is about 16 km (10 miles) from the Fuego Volcano, we are all good. We had some volcanic ash and grit raining down on us — and will have some cleaning up to do — but nothing more serious than that.

By the way, the photo above is of a previous eruption of the Fuego Volcano. At this time the weather is too cloudy to observe the eruptions directly.

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