Volcano in Guatemala has erupted for 50 days, closes airport

Nathan Howes
·1 min read
Volcano in Guatemala has erupted for 50 days, closes airport
Volcano in Guatemala has erupted for 50 days, closes airport
Volcano in Guatemala has erupted for 50 days, closes airport

Guatemala’s Pacaya volcano has been erupting for just under two months, disrupting life for nearby villagers and destroying coffee and avocado plantations.

For 50 days the volcano has maintained “high levels" of activity with persistent eruptions, ash clouds and lava spewing out, officials said. While there haven't been any reports of fatalities or injuries, the 2.2-km-long lava flow along the west flank of the volcano has damaged coffee and avocado plantations in its path.

Ash has been sent out up to 500 metres from Pacaya's crater, forcing the closure of the country's only international airport for nearly 24 hours after it spread due to a change in wind direction.

Pacaya volcano
Pacaya volcano

The Pacaya volcano, south of Guatemala City, has been erupting for 50 days, leading to the destruction of coffee and avocado plantations. Photo: Thumbnail courtesy of National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conred).

Residents in the surrounding villages have chosen to stay at home as a result of the blasts. The 2,500-metre (8,200-foot) volcano is 25 kilometers south of Guatemala City.

Authorities have been tasked to prohibit people from approaching the crater and the lava flows because of a risk of falling debris.

The vulcanology institute stated that falling ash was recorded in the El Rodeo and El Patrocinio communities, noting adding "the volcanic activity is considered at high levels."

In May 2010, a powerful eruption from Pacaya was responsible for killing a journalist covering the event.

Guatemala is home to 30 volcanoes including two other active ones besides Pacaya.

Thumbnail courtesy of National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conred).