33,000 flee Guatemala as volcano erupts

Nearly 2,000 feet of lava poured out from the 12,346-foot-high volcano on Thursday

Published September 13, 2012 10:49PM (EDT)

Thirty-three thousand people evacuated Guatemala earlier today when the Volcan de Fuego ("Volcano of Fire") erupted near one of the country's most prominent tourist sites. The volcano shot ash into the sky, forming dense clouds nearly two miles long. Gustavo Chicna, a volcanologist with the National Institute of Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology told the Associated Press that “A paroxysm of an eruption is taking place, a great volcanic eruption, with strong explosions and columns of ash," describing his surroundings as, “it's almost in total darkness.”

Fuego erupted earlier this year:


By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Big Story You Missed Guatemala Natural Disasters Nicaragua Volcano