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Guatemala’s Volcano of Fire spews lava as thousands urged to evacuate

Thousands of people have been urged to evacuate after an increased eruption of Guatemala’s 12,300ft ‘Volcano of Fire’.

Dramatic pictures show glowing lava spewing from the summit of the volcano, located among the departments of Escuintla, Chimaltenango and Sacatepéquez in the south-central part of the country.

Disaster coordination authorities have asked ten communities to evacuate and go to safe areas.

This morning, David de Leon, spokesman for the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction, said monitoring of the volcano’s activity yesterday showed the intensity of the eruption was being maintained.

It comes just months after a previous eruption of the ‘Volcan de Fuego’ killed 194 people and left 234 missing. 

Thousands have been urged to evacuate after an increased eruption of Guatemala’s 12,300ft ‘Volcano of Fire’. Images captured overnight show huge amounts of lava and ash spewing out 

Dramatic pictures show lava spewing from the volcano, located among the departments of Escuintla, Chimaltenango and Sacatepéquez in the south-central part of the country

Dramatic pictures show lava spewing from the volcano, located among the departments of Escuintla, Chimaltenango and Sacatepéquez in the south-central part of the country

The Volcan de Fuego, which translates to 'volcano of fire', is known to be one of Central America's most active. Ash was seen billowing from its summit last week (pictured)

The Volcan de Fuego, which translates to ‘volcano of fire’, is known to be one of Central America’s most active. Ash was seen billowing from its summit last week (pictured)

However, aid groups helping badly hit areas insist the true number of those still unaccounted for after the disaster in June runs in to the thousands.

At the time, searing flows of lava, ash and rock mixed with water and debris gushed down the volcano’s flanks, blocking roads and burning homes.

Fast-moving pyroclastic flows overtook people in homes and streets with temperatures reaching as high as 700C (1,300F), and hot ash and volcanic gases that can cause rapid asphyxiation.

The volcano, one of the most active in Central America, spewed more ash and lava in October, prompting warnings for nearby communities. 

Fuego has been erupting since 2002, and was continuously active in 2017.  

The volcano, one of the most active in Central America, spewed more ash and lava in October, prompting warnings for nearby communities. It is pictured overnight as lava spewed form the summit sparking safety fears for those living nearby

The volcano, one of the most active in Central America, spewed more ash and lava in October, prompting warnings for nearby communities. It is pictured overnight as lava spewed form the summit sparking safety fears for those living nearby

The Volcan de Fuego, or Volcano of Fire, spews hot molten lava from its crater in Antigua, Guatemala, early on Monday

The Volcan de Fuego, or Volcano of Fire, spews hot molten lava from its crater in Antigua, Guatemala, early on Monday

Explosion: The 12,300ft Volcan de Fuego has been erupting since 2002, and was continuously active in 2017 

Explosion: The 12,300ft Volcan de Fuego has been erupting since 2002, and was continuously active in 2017 

Spectacular photographs show the eruption overnight at Guatemala's Volcano of Fire. Officials are warning thousands to flee from surrounding areas

Spectacular photographs show the eruption overnight at Guatemala’s Volcano of Fire. Officials are warning thousands to flee from surrounding areas

Long lens cameras were used to capture these images from Alotenango, a municipality in Sacatepequez department, southwest of Guatemala City

Long lens cameras were used to capture these images from Alotenango, a municipality in Sacatepequez department, southwest of Guatemala City

A rescue worker carries a child covered with ash after the volcano's eruption in June. The eruption killed 194 people and left hundreds more missing

A rescue worker carries a child covered with ash after the volcano’s eruption in June. The eruption killed 194 people and left hundreds more

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