Natural Disasters

Volcano erupts in Guatemala, spewing ash 2 km into the sky

Central America has more than 100 volcanoes, many of which attract thousands of tourists from all over the world

By DTE Staff
Published: Tuesday 13 December 2022

On December 11, 2022, Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupted, releasing a huge pile of ash and smoke into the atmosphere. Fuego, which is Spanish for fire, rolled into activity overnight from December 10 into December 11, with molten rock sweeping down its slopes and ash shooting up to two kilometres into the sky.

The ash from the Fuego volcano was reportedly carried into Guatemala City, 35 km away by the wind. The volcanic eruption forced Guatemalan authorities to briefly close their largest airport, The La Aurora international airport before activity eased December 11.

The airport had at least two incoming flights diverted as the wind carried the volcanic ash onto the runway. The volcano sits about 16 kilometres away from the tourist city of Antigua and is one of the region's most active volcanoes.

But this is not the first time that Fuego has erupted. It erupts every four-five years. In 2018, the Fuego eruption devastated the village of San Miguel Los Lotes, killing 215 people.

Central America has more than 100 volcanoes, many of which attract thousands of tourists from all over the world. Guatemala also has two other active volcanoes — Santiaguito in the west and Pacaya in the south.

Guatemala’s volcanoes are not snow-capped like South American volcanoes, because of the warmer climate in Central America.

There have been a total of 77 volcanic eruptions reported all over the world in 2022. A 2020 Nature study showed that extreme rainfall may have led to the four-month-long eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano in 2018. There are theories corroborating how climate change is in fact accelerating more volcanic eruptions.

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