[QODLink]
Americas
Guatemala volcano rains chaos
Volcano spews rocks and ash on capital city, destroying homes and forcing many to evacuate.
Last Modified: 29 May 2010 02:33 GMT
The volcano eruption has damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes [AFP]

A volcano eruption in southern Guatemala has killed at least one person and left several children missing.

The Pacaya volcano started erupting on Thursday, covering Guatemala City with ash and forcing the closure of the capital's international airport.

The eruption has also destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes, forcing at least 1,600 people to evacuate, officials have said.

The eruption has prompted Alvaro Colom, the Guatemalan president, to declare a "state of calamity" for the Central American country.

He has urged residents to not leave their homes unless their was an urgent need to.

A spokesman for Guatemala's disaster agency said television reporter Anibal Archila was killed after being hit by a shower of rocks spewed from the volcano.

Two to three inches of ash accumulated on streets in parts of Guatemala City [AFP]

The spokesman also said three children, aged between seven and 12 years old, have gone missing.
 
Brenda Castaneda, a resident of the southern village of Calderas, said: "We thought we wouldn't survive. Our houses crumbled and we've lost everything."

Two to three inches of ash accumulated on streets in some parts of the city, and authorities imposed limits on trucks and motorcycles to help speed up traffic.

Eddy Sanchez, the head of Guatemala's seismological institute, warned another eruption could take place "in the coming days" at Pacaya, the most active volcano in Central America.

Sanchez said the volcano has accumulated a lot of energy over several years.

"Like a pressure cooker, it will release the pressure violently," he told reporters.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
Treatment for autism in the region has progressed, but lack of awareness and support services remains a challenge.
The past isn't far away for a people exiled from Crimea by Russia and the decades it took to get home.
join our mailing list