Guatemala’s deadly Fuego volcano erupted anew early Friday, unleashing a 600-meter flow of lava and sending clouds of ash spiraling into the sky.
Increased volcanic activity over the last 24 hours could release tons of fiery volcanic material and force evacuations of mountain villages, warned Guatemala’s disaster management agency CONRED.
A powerful June 3 eruption of the Fuego volcano—located 35 kilometers (22 miles) southwest of the capital—rained rocks, ash and toxic gases on several villages and left 190 people dead and 235 missing.
CONRED had yet to issue evacuation orders for mountain communities early Friday, but spokesman David de Leon said: “Considering how the volcano is behaving some communities could make decisions to evacuate to safe areas.”
Authorities shut down a nearby highway as a precaution and vulcanologists warned the civil aviation agency of an ash cloud to the west and southwest of the volcano.
Scientists monitoring the 3,763-meter (12,346-foot) volcano reported increased activity from late Thursday. However, activity intensified on Friday with loud booms and lava flows, the Institute of Vulcanology said.
Some 2,900 displaced victims of the earlier disaster remain in temporary shelters as government promises to build a 1,000 permanent homes on a state farm have been held up by irregularities.