Around noon on Sunday, the Volcán de Fuego, or “Volcano of Fire,” erupted in Guatemala causing widespread devastation.

At least 25 people have been killed and hundreds have been injured. Many remain missing. The death toll is expected to rise as rescuers reach remote villages. It is estimated that 1.7m people have been affected by the eruption, and 3,100 people have already been evacuated from the immediate area.

It is the second time Volcán de Fuego has erupted this year. In this eruption, a fast moving pyroclastic flow carried debris down the slopes of the volcano. The flow had a temperature of around 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit (700 Celsius), and was followed a few hours later by slower moving molten lava, which has burned its way through everything in its path.

Flights were cancelled as La Aurora International Airport in nearby Guatemala City closed its only runway. The smoke plume has reportedly reached six miles high, with ash being spread over an area of about 12 miles. A state of emergency is being considered for the departments of Chimaltenango, Escuintla and Sacatepequez.

Future threats included further eruptions, continued seismic activity, and mudslides containing volcanic material

If you are in Guatemala, you should – 

  • Monitor local media.
  • Agree a plan with all the members of your group. Ready.gov offers advice on how to survive volcanic eruptions and what to do in the aftermath.
  • Comply with all instructions from authorities. If you are told to leave, follow the recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts – they may be blocked.
  • If you are near the affected area, start gathering together items you will need if you have to leave with short notice. Ready.gov has more information, including what you should include in your emergency supply kit.
  • Contact your travel agent and/or airline for further updates and support on your travel plans.
  • Follow the twitter accounts listed below and turn on push notifications for those accounts, so that you get an alert on your phone when they share new information.
  • Keep in touch with friends and family.

Twitter accounts to follow

We will update this list as/when we find more useful accounts.

Updates + headlines

Sources

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