Thousands Flee Guatemala's 'Volcano of Fire'

'It sounded like a pressure cooker that wouldn't stop,' evacuee says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2012 1:28 AM CDT
Plumes of smoke rise from the Volcan de Fuego.   (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

(Newser) – More than 10,000 people fled their homes yesterday after Guatemala's Volcan del Fuego—"Volcano of Fire"—blew its top, spewing ash over a wide area and hurling burning rocks thousands of feet in the air, reports the BBC. The tourist center of Antigua, just six miles away, is not currently in danger but officials expect the eruptions to last until at least this morning. "A paroxysm of an eruption is taking place, a great volcanic eruption, with strong explosions and columns of ash," a government volcanologist tells the AP. Authorities ordered people in 17 nearby communities to leave their homes, although many, fearing looters more than lava, decided to stay. (Read more Guatemala stories.)

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