Friday, April 3, 2009

Volcan Pacaya Having an Episode

An increase in Pacaya's eruption prompted the Guatemala Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conred) to issue an orange alert in Pacaya National Park.

Authorities consider the increase in volcanic activity to be a danger to residents and tourists so the tours and hikes up the big mountain were suspended.

Residents near the volcano indicated that since they noticed the increase starting in the early hours of Thursday, April 2. According to a local tour guide, one could count up to 20 bursts per minute. The normal rate is about one every five minutes. He added that the volcano is emitting lava and hurling rocks.

Conred indicated that a new crater has formed in the southeastern part of the mountain, threatening the village of El Rodeo which is located near the slopes of the volcano. The agency is prepared with 10 vehicles and shelters if evacuations are necessary.

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