Guatemala volcano fires ash 3km into air

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Guatemala's Pacaya volcano continues to erupt with explosions sending ash columns 3200 metres into the air..

In its most recent bulletin, the National Institute for Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (Insivumeh) warned the volcano's high level of activity is accompanied by ashfall on villages more than 25km away, as well as lava flow.

Located 60km south of Guatemala City, the explosions could be observed from the capital.

Pacaya, a strato-volcano with an elevation of 2552 metres, also caused rumbles and vibrations around the surrounding areas and villages located on its slopes, while ballistic material fell about 500 metres around the crater.

The civil protection entity warned the population that the volcanic activity of Pacaya has continued to increase in recent weeks, so a rise in activity in the next hours or days, possibly "with greater emission of columns of ash and explosions with ballistic fall or even the emergence of new lava flows on the flanks around the volcanic cone," is not ruled out.

Pacaya, located in the departments of Guatemala and Escuintla, is one of the three most active volcanoes of the 32 in the Central American country.

The last major eruption of a volcano in Guatemala occurred on June 3, 2018, when Fuego took the lives of 202 people and left another 229 missing.