GUATEMALA, 5th May, 2023 (WAM) -- Guatemalan authorities evacuated more than 1000 people and closed a road as Central America's most active volcano erupted on Thursday, spewing thick clouds of ash over farms and towns not far from the capital city.
Civil protection official Oscar Cossio said 1,054 people had been evacuated from five communities near the foot of the volcano and moved to a sports hall for shelter.
He said the number is likely to rise as a full accounting of the evacuees was carried out.
Guatemala's Conred disaster centre said that the volcano named "Fuego", Spanish for "fire," was sending out "pyroclastic flows" - a high-temperature mix of gas, ash and rock fragments "which descend with great speed down the flanks of the volcanic complex."
The ash column ejected by Fuego reached more than 6,000 metres above sea level.
Stronger emissions could follow as the "high level" eruption continues, and it warned that with rainfall forecast, mudslides could form.