Guatemala orders evacuations after Fuego erupts

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Guatemala City, May 6 (IANS) The Guatemalan authorities have ordered evacuations and declared an orange alert after a violent eruption from the Fuego volcano, an official said.

The alert applies to three provinces in the Central American nation and 330 people were evacuated from the vicinity, the spokesman for the Conred disaster management agency said on Friday.

The eruption occurred some 50 km southwest of here, said David de Leon, adding that response teams were deployed to communities near the 3,760-metre volcano, Efe news reported.

Fuego has been active since 1999 and has erupted on three previous occasions in 2017, but this is the first time that people living near it have been asked to leave, De Leon said.

Classes in 10 schools in Escuintla were suspended.

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Ash and other volcanic materials have fallen on nearly a dozen towns in the vicinity, the Conred spokesman said.

The latest eruption began early on Friday and has been accompanied by lava flows, according to scientists at the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology, and Hydrology.

Fuego erupted 16 times in 2016.

–IANS

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