Pacaya volcano has erupted in Guatemala, prompting the authorities to consider the evacuation of some 3,000 people living in the area. The Pacaya volcano began spewing ash and lava after a powerful explosion on March 1, Saturday afternoon. New explosions were seen on Sunday, with ash clouds and spewing glowing-hot rock, reaching a height or at least 4km (3 miles).
Flights have been diverted from the area, some 50km (30 miles) south of the capital, Guatemala City.
The Pacaya is one of three active volcanoes in Guatemala. The other two are the Fuego and the Santa Maria.
“We are assessing with the National Disaster Management Centre (Conred) whether we will need to evacuate the 3,000 people who live in the villages of El Rodeo and Patrocinio. Access to the areas around the volcano has been suspended,” said the Pacaya National Park director, Humberto Morales, as reported to the Presna Libre newspaper.
The Guatemalan authorities have issued an amber alert, the third highest. It means people must remain alert and be prepared to leave the area at short notice.
A new phase of increased activity at the volcano began today. Strombolian explosions became more intense, ejecting incandescent bombs to approx. 200 m above the crater, and since this morning, a new lava flow started to descend from the summit on the western flank. The activity surge is reflected by a strong, gradual increase of tremors.
Activity at the volcano has remained similar to the previous weeks, but decreased somewhat.
The activity has remained unchanged, dominated by slow extrusion and avalanches of blocky lava mainly from the SE and NE flanks of the Caliente dome.The volcano observatory mentions occasional weak to moderate explosions with ash plumes rising up to 500 m from the dome and warns of the possibility of pyroclastic flows (generated by collapse of lava flows).
Lake Atitlan Guatemala volcano and earthquakes have been noticed from Los Elementos Adventure Center.
We have been feeling the rumblings of the volcanos and earthquakes for the past couple of weeks. Many of us felt a rumble this afternoon, March 2. I am not sure whether it is the volcanos or earthquakes shaking us?!?!? We are watching reports rolling in from BBC News, Fox News, Prensa Libre,