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Guatemala News Alert

Guatemala: Increased activity at Fuego Volcano July 10

Increased activity at Volcán de Fuego July 10 following major June 3 eruption; continue to avoid the area

11 Jul 12:57 PM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 7/11/2018, 12:00 AM until 7/25/2018, 11:59 PM (America/Guatemala). COUNTRY/REGION Volcán de Fuego
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Event

Powerful explosions were reported at the Volcán de Fuego on Tuesday, July 10, and a column of ash was released some 5000 m (16,400 ft) into the atmosphere. Ash fall was reported some 12 km (7.5 mi) to the southwest of the crater, including in the communities of Yepocapa (Chimaltenango department), Finca Palo Verde, and Sangre de Cristo. No evacuation orders have been issued but local authorities remain on alert. Further intensification is possible in the coming hours or days.

In the event of a major eruption, flight disruptions are possible at Guatemala City’s La Aurora International Airport (GUA) - located approximately 40 km (25 mi) northwest of the volcano.

Context

A major eruption occurred at the Volcán de Fuego on June 3. At least 113 people were killed and another 329 remain missing as of July 10. A total of 2 million people were affected in total. Red alerts issued by Guatemala's emergency response agency CONRED remain in place for the three departments that surround the volcano: Chimaltenango, Escuintla, and Sacatepéquez.

The emergency response agency CONRED was heavily criticized for not warning the population of the impending eruption despite receiving warnings from the INSIVUMEH (National Institute for Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology).

The Volcán de Fuego, one of the most active volcanoes in Latin America, has been in a state of increased activity since 2015, with some 15 eruptive phases per year. The June 3 eruption was the most intense in more than 40 years. A total of 32 volcanoes are present in Guatemala, including three that show constant signs of activity: Fuego, Pacaya, and Santiaguito.

Advice

Individuals present in Guatemala are advised to avoid the above area, monitor the situation, adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities (e.g. evacuation orders), and wear respiratory masks and covering clothing to protect skin from ash fall in affected areas.

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