25 people dead and 300 injured in in the most violent eruption of Guatemala’s volcano in more than four decades
More than 1.7 million people affected by the volcanic eruption – lava rivers still flowing onto highways and streets
Authorities fear death toll will rise – alert issued for ash and lahars
Ash even reached neighbouring country of El Salvador and expected to reach Mexico
Travel alerts issues by the British FCO
Military providing assistance with the clean up operation, state of distater declared
The volcano, which lies about 27 miles from Guatemala City, erupted just before midday local time on Sunday and lava attacked villages and roads by 4pm.
The army have said they have evacuated more than 3,000 people from around the volcano and pictures have emerged of soldiers carrying children covered in ash from their homes.
The Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has declared a state of emergency in the states of Chimaltenango, Sacatepequez and Escuintla.
According to the Guatemalan director of seismology and volcanology institute, Eddy Sanchez, the volcano’s temperatures reached a torturous 1,300 degrees.
Rescue workers have saved who they could following the volcano disaster
We saw the lava was pouring through the corn fields and we ran towards a hill
The UK’s Foreign Office has said that the main airport in Guatemala City, La Aurora, has been closed due to the falling ash from the volcanic eruption.
The people living close to the volcano have been advised not to expose themselves to the pyroclastic flows or lava close to the volcanic zone.
Volcan de Fuego, which mean the volcano of fire, is one of Central America’s most active and is near the colonial city of Antigua – a popular tourist spot.
The Central American country of Guatemala is situated on the Ring of Fire, which is an area of a lot of seismic activity.
The volcano also erupted on January 31, but it ended after 20 hours of activity.
3:16pm update: “Between five and seven explosions per hour”
The National Institute for Seismology, Meteorology and Hydrology of Guatemala has provided another update.
It said: “The activity in the fire volcano is maintained with weak and moderate explosions, between five and seven per hour, which generate ash at about 4,500 metres above sea level.
2:55pm update: New explosion at Fuego as evacuations ramp up
A new explosion and pyroclastic flow have been reported by Guatamala’s disaster agency.
Witnesses said that more people have been evacuated from the site following the latest activity.
2:38pm update: A new pyroclastic flow is flowing at speed out of the volcano
This flow can be highly dangerous and is a fast-moving current of hot gas and volcanic matter that moves away from a volcano and can reach speeds of more than 400mph.
These flows can be deadly and are able to destroy everything in their path.
2:35pm update: Police are still looking for survivors from the eruption
The National Police tweeted: “Since five o’clock in the morning, our police officers are visiting the places affected by the devastation caused by the eruption of #VolcánDeFuego.
“The hope of the police officers is to locate survivors of this tragedy.”
The police are looking for missing people using state-of-the-art technology.
The Fuego Volcano in eruption, seen from Los Lotes, Rodeo, in Escuintla
2.23pm update: Landslide and lahar warning
New landslide/lahar coming down the skirts of Fuego Volcano as volunteer firefighters continue the search and rescue operation
Lahar is an Indonesian term that describes a hot or cold mixture of water and rock fragments that flows down the slopes of a volcano and typically enters a river valley.
2:15pm update: More than a thousand people have been left in shelters – latest official statistics have been released by the Guatemalan disaster agency Conrad
The latest figures stand at 1,702,130 affected people, 3,265 people have needed medical care, 20 people are injured.
Two energy networks have been affected and a bridge has been destroyed by the eruption.
2pm update: The Aurora International Airport is set to reopen at 8am
Around 350 people have cleared the ash off the runway of Guatemala’s main airport so aeroplanes are able to continue to use it.
The airport’s director, Francis Argueta, said: “At dawn today, we completed the cleaning of the active runway at La Aurora International Airport. Thank you National Army, COVIAL, Municipality of Guatemala, fire departments and colleagues of the DGAC. 15 hours of intense work!”
1:45pm update: Locals advised to wear masks to protect themselves from the dangers of the ash
Locals have been advised to wear masks due to the falling ash, to take precautions and also to evacuate to safe areas if instructed to do so by authorities.
They have also been told to avoid river banks and to cover food and containers where water is stored for human consumption.
1:30pm update: Guatemalan president announces three days of national mourning after the eruption
President Jimmy Morales has announced three days of national mourning following the eruption
The president wants to pay respect to the victims of the volcano over the three days.
1.15pm update: Guatemala eruption advice issued to residents
Residents living near the volcano have been warned to cover their guttering and wear protective masks to prevent ash inhilation.
Municipal authorities have warned people to clear off ash by dampening it first and cover their noses if they are walking or travelling outside.
1.02pm update: Guatemala volcano eruption sparks pyroclastic flow
Professor David Rothery, Professor of Planetary Geosciences at The Open University, said pyroclastic flows could move at speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour, and were hot enough to glow like molten lava.
He added: “They can travel further, as well as much faster, than lava flows.
“This is the phenomenon that claimed many lives during the famous AD 79 eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii.”
Volunteer firefighters have shared pictures of the ash and lava blanketing villages
Guatemala volcano: Millions of people have been affected by Fuego eruption
12:45pm update: G13 International community offers support to Guatemala after eruption
The G13 – an international group consisting of leaders of the heads of government from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the US and Russia, plus Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa – has offered its support to those affected by the volcano eruption in Guatemala.
They said in a tweet: ”The G13 is at the disposal of the Guatemalan authorities to help with the VolcanFuego tragedy and sends its condolences to those affected.”
12:30pm update: Mexico expects ash from the volcano to arrive there
A Mexican newspaper has warned that the ash could even fall as far as Mexico due to storms.
The newspaper Diario Presenter said that winds and rain would enable the ash to travel to the neighbouring country.
12:15pm update: 58 homeless families have been able to shelter in a town hall in the south of country
The town hall of Escuintla has offered shelter to 58 families from the the communities of La Reina, La Trinidad, El Rodeó, Los Lotes and Sabana Grande.
Escuintia is a city in the south central region of Guatemala.
Fuego volcano: Smoke and ash billows from the top of the volcano in Guatemala
Guatemala volcano eruption: Staggering pictures of Volcan De Fuego
12pm update: Foreign Office advises Brits to check with their airlines after airport closure
La Aurora International Airport is still closed after the eruption so the Foreign Office has urged tourists to check with their airline if they are flying to or from Guatemala.
Stories have emerged of surviving tourists, such as Richard Fitz-Hugh, a backpacker from Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, who climbed the neighbouring peak Acatenango the day before the eruption.
The tourist said: “In the town ash came down for about two hours mid-morning and shortly in the afternoon and it sort of mixed in the rain”.
11:45am update: Another volcano in Guatemala has cancelled all access to tourists following eruption due to ‘risk’
The volcano of Acatenango has cancelled all access due to the emergency of the Fuego Volcano.
In a statement, they said: “The municipality of Acatenango informs all tourists and tourist agencies that want to go to Acatenango Volcano that all access is denied until further notice de to the sad events of Fuego Volcano and the risk for the population.
The municipality of Acatenango thanks the understanding and prays for strength to the people affected by this natural phenomenon.”
11:30am update: Ash from the volcano is falling across the Central American country
Guatemala City, which has a population of more than two million people, has been hit by the volcanic ash.
“A rain of sand” has been reported in the tourist hotspot of Antigua, which is when ash mixes with the rain and causes the density of the material.
David de Leon, a CONRED, disaster agency, spokesman, said a change in wind was to blame for the volcanic ash falling on parts of the capital.
11:15am update: Lightning has been detected in the smoke plume of the volcano
Scientists think that the charged particles responsible for volcanic lightning comes from the material ejected from the volcano and the charge formation processes within the ash clouds moving through the volcano.
11am update: Ash is even reaching other countries, including El Salvador and Antigua
The environment ministry of Guatemala’s neighbouring country El Salvador has said that fine particles of ash have arrived in the city of Santa Ana.
Also, the Department Head of the General Directorate of Civil Protection of Ahuachapán has reported a small amount of volcanic ash in vehicles that are parked in the streets, in Ahuachapán, Turin and Atiquizaya.
Guatemala volcano: Fuego still shows signs of activity
Guatemala volcano damage and destruction
10:20am update: Warnings that lethal volcano could erupt again
The eruption of the Fuego volcano ended after 16 and a half hours, but the government has warned that there is a possibility of reactivation so locals have been warned not to stay near or inside the ravines affected by the flows.
10am update: Government officials visit injured in hospitals
The Vice President of Guatemala Dr Jafeth Cabrera and the Health Minister Carlos Soto have visited some of the victims of the volcanic eruption in hospitals.
The politicians have been able to visit patients in intensive care. Minister of Health coordinating the transfer of several injured by third degree burns to San Juan and Roosevelt Hospital Two two-years-old are also being treated for medical burns.
9.25am update: International aid being sent
Taiwan, Israel and Spain have pledged to send international aid to Guatemala. Tsai Ing-wen, President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) said: “My thoughts are with all the #Guatemalan people affected by the eruption of the #VolcanDeFuego. #Taiwan stands ready to assist President @jimmymoralesgt with relief and recovery efforts. “
Alfonso Dastis, Spanish Foreign Minister wrote on Twitter: “All my solidarity to the President @jimmymoralesgt and the people of Guatemala. We are already studying the best way to help #Guatemala in this catastrophe. My support for the families of the victims and all those affected.”
Israel Foreign Ministry said: “Israel is sending an immediate emergency aid to #Guatemala, including medicine & food, following the lethal Fuego volcanic eruption.
“Guatemala, Israel stands with you!”
Guatemala volcano damage: Aerial photos of Fuego volcano eruption
Volcano Fuego eruption followed by orographic convection in Guatemala today
9.23am update: Latest National Institute Bulletin – Eruption ended – Alert remains active due to ash and lahars
National Institute of Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology SPECIAL VULCANOLOGICAL BULLETIN
BEFGO # 33-2018 Guatemala June 3 2018, 10:00 p.m. (Local time)
ERUPTION ENDS VOLCANO DE FUEGO (1402-09)
Geographic location: 14°28’54˝ Latitude N; 90°52’54˝ Longitude W; Height: 3,763 metres above sea level.
The eruption of the Fuego volcano, after 16 and a half hours is ending with ash at 4,500 metres above sea level (14,763 feet) with weak and moderate explosions, and incandescence in the crater.
The seismic station of FG3 records a last pyroclastic flow at 18:45, then with normal explosions, with abundant degassing. Rumbles and waves of shock disappeared.
The eruption has ended. However there is ash in the environment at a distance of 20 kilometres in the volcanic perimeter with probability that the wind speed can move it to a greater distance. You also have to take into account that there is a probability of a reactivation, so you should not stay near or inside the ravines affected by the flows.
LAHARS: It should be taken into account that the deposits of pyroclastic flows have filled the ravines and that the rain of this winter season is strong, so big lahars will happen in the next hours or days, which can overflow villages in the south, southwest and southeast and affect populations that were not affected now.
9:15am update: Victims rushed to hospitals across the country
Patients, including children, have been sent to Hospital Roosevelt and the General Hospital for second and third degree burns, according to the country’s health ministry.
Roosevelt Hospital has tweeted that they are treating children as young as two-years-old for medical burns.
Guatemala Fuego volcano eruption: Lava makes its way up a road towards villagers
Police officers have been posted across Guatemala following the eruption
Residents of several communities safeguard in a temporary shelter in Escuintla department
9am update: Volcanic map of activity released
The Seismological Institute of Guatemala has published a volcanic map of ash following the activity. Shows the area of red directly surrounding the Fueo volcano and the affected areas in yellow.
8:45am update: Day of mourning announced
Leaders from across the globe have expressed their sympathy to Guatemala.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto expressed condolences and offered assistance.
He said: “All our solidarity and support to the President Jimmy Morales and the Guatemalan people for the loss of human life after the eruption of the volcano of Fire.”
8:35am update: 1.7million people affected
The Guatemalan government have said that more than one million have been affected by the volcanic eruption.
The official bulletin revealed that the ash columns reached more than 10 thousand meters above sea level and pyroclastic flows have descended from the burning crater.
The volcanic map of the ash displacement
Rescue workers save a wounded person from the volcanic eruption
8:25am update: The military is providing assistance with the rescue operation
From setting up temporary shelters to clearing the ash from the runway, the armed forces have been drafted in.
The army has tweeted pictures of the military cleaning the runway of the country’s international airport, La Aurora.
Survivor Consul Hernandez said: “Not everyone escaped, I think they were buried.
“We saw the lava was pouring through the corn fields and we ran towards a hill.”
Guatemala volcano: Fuego eruption in the early hours of this morning
7am update: Guatemala Fuego volcano erupts in the early hours
Fuego volcano has been erupting for 16 hours overnight, spewing lava and ash into the sky thousands of metres above sea level.
After the Volcano of Fire began its second eruption of the year, the ash columns reached more than 10 thousand metres above sea level, pyroclastic flows have descended through the ravines of this volcanic dome, the hot clouds that have descended from the crater have affected nearby communities, as well as the strong lahars.
Institutions that are part of the System of the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction -CONRED- have already provided assistance in 62 incidents registered mainly in the departments of Sacatepéquez, Escuintla and Chimaltenango, which have left a total of one million 701 thousand 965 people affected, 3,100 treated and evacuated, 20 wounded people transferred to health centres, 25 dead and a bridge totally destroyed due to a strong lahar.
Among the actions that are already active, we have the search and location of missing persons, the opening of 3 shelters in the department of Escuintla, assistance to wounded people, Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis -EDAN- in affected areas.
The population that is close to the areas of greatest damage is recommended not to expose themselves to the clouds, pyroclastic flows or descent of lahars that could happen in this volcanic zone, the recommendations issued by the authorities at all times and be aware of new information about this second eruption.
Guatemala volcano: Fuego eruption today