by Staff Writers
Guatemala City (AFP) Feb 26, 2017
Guatemala's Volcano of Fire erupted Saturday, spewing lava and sending up plumes of ash that rained down on nearby communities and could eventually reach the capital, civil protection authorities said.
The Volcan de Fuego, one of the country's three active volcanos, is located about 45 kilometers (28 miles) southwest of the capital Guatemala City. It was the volcano's second eruption this year.
David de Leon, spokesman for the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction, said the volcanic activity later stabilized and fell within the normal range after an eruptive phase that lasted 13 hours.
The rumbling 3,763-meter-high (12,345-foot) volcano registered a powerful eruption from 11:28 pm Friday (0528 GMT Saturday).
In the afternoon, explosions generated ash columns 4,500 meters above sea level, 500 meters less than in the morning. The longest of three lava flows so far stretched 1,600 meters.
Although the ash could travel as far as Guatemala City, it has not yet reached the capital, instead affecting populations in the four departments near the volcano.
Earlier, it pumped out a series of moderate and strong explosions, according to the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology.
In addition to Fuego, the Central American country has two other active volcanos: Santiaguito in the west and Pacaya in the south, just 30 kilometers from the capital.
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