GUATEMALA – A volcanic eruption last week in the Central American nation of Guatemala is forcing nearby evacuations and has closed the area off to tourism according to reports from AP sources in the area. The volcano is located just south of Guatemala City. The Pacaya volcano has begun a constant lava flow down one side of the mountain that has caused the removal of some local residents. There have also been intermittent explosions and clouds of ash being tossed into the air. The activity of the volcano is described as “mildly explosive and effusive (Strombolian activity, lava fountaining, lava flows from the summit crater),” according to Volcano Discovery. “Near continuously active the least during the past centuries.” An update to the site on Jan. 12 noted the proximity of lava flows moving closer to inhabited areas.
“These fissures feed two large (and possibly one smaller third) lava flows that have reached lengths of 3-5 km length and are several hundred meters wide at their fronts (up to 800 m on the western side),” Volcano Discovery reported. “The lava flows have burned extensive areas of farmland and woods and are close to some villages. In the meantime, moderate to violent strombolian activity continues at the summit.” The heaviest activity is occurring in the San Vicente Pacaya in the Department of Escuintla, where photographs show residents monitoring massive burning flows as well as firefighters in the region trying to contain fires that have been spawned as a result of the volcano’s activity. There have also been some recent activity on volcanoes in Alaska noted on the Aleutian Islands. However, since Jan. 2 no new activity has been observed and the USGS has reduced the alert level to Orange in that area. The Aleutian Islands are a very sparsely populated chain of islands in the northern state. Extinction Protocol