Guatemala's Pacaya volcano erupts, officials warn of burning projectiles

The Pacaya volcano spews smoke and ash as seen from El Rodeo, Guatemala March 3, 2021. REUTERS/Josue Decavele

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemala's Pacaya volcano erupted on Wednesday, expelling lava for several hours and prompting the country's meteorological institute to warn that incandescent volcanic blocks could rain down on nearby towns.

Officials stopped short of ordering evacuations following the so-called strombolian eruption, explosions that consist of relatively mild blasts but eject burning cinders and lava bombs.

One of the Central American country's most active volcanoes, Pacaya began to expel lava at dawn, creating an immense column of smoke, video footage from the institute showed.

"The Pacaya volcano has a very high level of activity, which has generated a strombolian type eruption, with strong explosions," the meteorological institute, Insivumeh, said in a statement.

David de Leon, spokesman for the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conred), said civil protection teams were checking several facilities that could be used as shelters as lava continued to flow late on Wednesday.

Insivumeh said five towns, home to around 3,000 people, were at risk from burning projectiles from the volcano, which is located 28 kilometers (17.4 miles) south of Guatemala City.

Pacaya experienced some minor activity for a month before erupting on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Sofia Menchu in Guatemala City, writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; editing by Jane Wardell)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Next In World

Rockets strike Iraqi military base hosting U.S. contractors, security officials say
Two killed in blast in Ethiopian capital blamed on hand grenade
Table Mountain wildfire threatens University of Cape Town
White House: No guarantees about Afghanistan's future post-pullout
Two quakes rattle Taiwan, no reports of damage
White House says there will be consequences if Kremlin critic Navalny dies
Standoff persists in Merkel succession battle - sources
Nearly 100 people injured after train derails in Egypt
Pope calls for lowering of tensions in eastern Ukraine
Cambodia uses wedding halls for COVID patients as cases surge

Stories You'll Enjoy