Volcanic eruptions in Central and South America, forcing evacuations and closure of airport


Two volcanoes in Guatemala and Ecuador, located in Central and South America, have erupted for two days since May 27. Authorities evacuated residents of nearby areas immediately. Blasts of rock and ash triggered a change in flight path and the closure of the international airport by officials.

Pacaya volcano, situated 40 kilometers south of Guatemala city, started erupting on Thursday afternoon and kept spewing lava and rocks. The plumes of ash soared 1000 meters above its peak. The president of Guatemala Alvaro Colom immediately declared a state of emergency in the 3 surrounding regions. The authority urgently evacuated 1500 people. The fleeing residents witnessed the powerful eruption of Pacaya volcano, 2500 meters above sea level. It seemed that the whole volcano was shaking when erupting.
A local television reporter was killed by a shower of burning rocks when he got too close to the volcano. Three children are missing, and Guatemalan President immediately declared that the nation entered a state of emergency, which would last for 15 days.

Meanwhile, strong explosions rocked Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano, located 150 kilometers southeast of Quito, the capital city. The volcano, 5000 meters above sea level, sent powerful plumes of ash 10 kilometers above its peak. Taiwan government was greatly concerned about its people in the affected regions. According to a primary report, Taiwanese people, merchants, envoys, and envoys’ families in Guatemala and Ecuador are safe and sound.