Friday, May 28, 2010

Pacaya volcano erupts - News Update

This is Randy and Cathy in their trip to Guatemala at the rim of Pacaya volcano in 2004.

The Pacaya volcano started erupting lava and rocks on Thursday afternoon, blanketing Guatemala City with ash and forcing the closure of the international airport. President Alvaro Colom declared a "state of calamity."

Three children between the ages of seven and 12 were missing and at least 1,600 people from villages closest to the volcano have been evacuated to shelters.

Two to three inches (Five to 7.5 centimeters) of ash accumulated on streets in some southern parts of the city, and officials imposed limits on trucks and motorcycles to help speed up traffic slowed by the ash. The government urged residents not to leave their homes unless there was an urgent need.

The most active of Guatemala's 32 volcanos, Pacaya has been intermittently erupting since 1966, and tourists frequently visit areas near three lava flows formed in eruptions between 1989 and 1991.

In 1998, the 8,373-foot (2,552-meter) volcano twice spewed plumes of ash, forcing evacuations and shutting down the airport in Guatemala City.

You can see video at:,0,4455438.story

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