The Volcán de Fuego (Fire Volcano) near Guatemala City, the capital of Guatemala, erupted on Thursday, emitting a huge plume of ash that rose up to 6,000 meters above sea level. Guatemala’s civil protection agency Conred said Central America’s most active volcano erupts “pyroclastic flows” — a mixture of gas, ash and superheated rock — “which tumble down slopes at great speed.” More than 1,000 people from surrounding communities have been evacuated.

According to an official with the civil protection agency, the falling ash fell up to 100 kilometers from the crater. According to the official, around 130,000 people live in the affected area. The agency warned of further eruptions, noting that mudslides could form due to the forecast rainfall.

Civil protection advised residents of the affected areas to follow all instructions from the authorities closely and asked everyone to keep a seven-kilometer exclusion zone from the volcano.

Last December, an eruption of Mount Fuegos, 3763 meters high in the south of the Central American country, forced the Guatemalan authorities to temporarily close the country’s largest airport. In 2018, a major eruption left hundreds dead and missing.

Located about 10 miles from the picturesque former capital and country’s top tourist attraction, Antigua, Volcán de Fuego erupts about every four to five years. In addition to the “Fuego”, there are two other active volcanoes in Guatemala: the “Santiaguito” and the “Pacaya”.

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