2012-09-14 08:26:04

Guatemala: evacuations for volcano

More than 30,000 people have been evactuated as the Volcano of Fire, less than 50 km from the capital, Guatemla City, has blown its top. The three thousand seven hundred meter tall El Fuego, which is close to the city of Antigua has been rumbling and simmering for quite some time. It's the sixth eruption this year, but by far the biggest and most violent. Lava shot more than a thousand metres up into a darkrning sky, and now flows down the volcano's steep slopes. 20 towns and smaller communities have already been evactuated, and government emergency shelters are standing by. This is El Fuego's biggest eruption in thirteen years, but surely not its last. A thick, cloying layer of gray volanic ash, is covering many homes, streets and cars, over a very wide radius. Vulcanology and seismology experts expect this flareup to last for some hours more. But they won't predict when it'll be safe for locals to return to their hastily abandoned homes and livlihoods. Listen to this report from regional correspondent James Blears: RealAudioMP3

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