Vol­canic ash forces Guatemala air­port to sus­pend op­er­a­tions

The Borneo Post - - WORLD -

GUATEMALA CITY: Guatemala City’s La Aurora in­ter­na­tional air­port tem­po­rar­ily sus­pended op­er­a­tions on its only run­way on Wed­nes­day due to ash af­ter the Pa­caya vol­cano in­creased ac­tiv­ity, a week and half af­ter a vi­o­lent erup­tion from another peak killed more than 100.

“This is a pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sure taken to safe­guard the lives of pas­sen­gers and air­craft safety,” Guatemala’s civil avi­a­tion author­ity said.

Pa­caya, lo­cated some 48 kilo­me­tres south of the cap­i­tal, is spew­ing a col­umn of ash and gas some 3,500 me­tres into the air and has pro­duced dif­fer­ent low-level lava flows over the last few months, the seis­mo­log­i­cal, vol­canic and me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal in­sti­tute In­sivumeh said in a state­ment.

Winds are blow­ing the col­umn some 10 kilo­me­tres to the north, north­east.

In­sivumeh asked au­thor­i­ties to pre­pare for the pos­si­bil­ity that Pa­caya may in­crease its vol­canic ac­tiv­ity over the “com­ing hours or days.”

Gu­atemalan au­thor­i­ties are al­ready on high alert af­ter the Fuego vol­cano erupted on June 3, shoot­ing fast-mov­ing cur­rents of ash, lava and su­per-heated gas down its slopes that buried vil­lages in its path. The erup­tion of the vol­cano was its worst in four decades, killing at least 110 peo­ple and leav­ing nearly 200 miss­ing.

Pa­caya, one of Guatemala’s 34 vol­ca­noes, had its last ma­jor erup­tion in 2010, killing three peo­ple and forc­ing hun­dreds to evac­u­ate. — Reuters

A gen­eral view shows an area af­fected by the erup­tion of the Fuego vol­cano in San Miguel Los Lotes, in Es­cuintla, Guatemala. — Reuters photo

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