Guatemala volcanic eruption prompts small evacuation as lava flows
A small ash column from the Pacaya volcano is seen from Guatemala City, Oct. 7, 2013. (AP / Moises Castillo)
The Associated Press
Published Saturday, January 11, 2014 3:01PM EST
GUATEMALA CITY -- Guatemala authorities say lava flowing from the Pacaya volcano near Guatemala City is prompting the evacuation of those living nearest the crater.
Alejandro Maldonado directs the National Office for Disaster Reduction and says lava is flowing down one side of the volcano, but he did not say how many people have been evacuated. Local news media report the number is small so far. The volcano is also closed to tourists.
The National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology says Saturday's lava flow in some areas is as large as 600 metres wide and 3 kilometres long.
The volcano just south of the capital city also is registering small explosions and emitting gas and ash.
Pacaya is one of Guatemala's most active and picturesque volcanos.