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article imageVolcano eruption forces Guatemala to declare state of emergency

By Andrew Moran     May 28, 2010 in World
Guatemala City - A volcanic eruption has forced the government of Guatemala to declare a state of emergency. The country's capital city has been engulfed with ash and one person has been killed.
The Pacaya volcano, which overlooks Guatemala City, has erupted and forced President Alvaro Colom to declare a state of emergency in the Escuintla region, Guatemala City and areas surrounding the capital.
The government of Guatemala announced that it will evacuate 1,600 people and shut down the city’s international airport, according to BBC News. On Thursday afternoon, the Pacaya volcano began to shoot out lava and rocks and covered the Guatemalan city with ash.
According to the Associated Press, one reporter was killed and a spokesperson for the national disaster agency said that three children are missing between the ages of seven and twelve.
One resident in the village of Calderas said her family had hid under the beds and tables as stones were falling onto her home, “We thought we wouldn't survive. Our houses crumbled and we've lost everything.”
The Los Angeles Times notes that the volcano has been consistently active for the last 45 years and is a popular tourist destination. The volcano erupted in 1989 and expanded the crater. The eruption sent ash 50 miles.
The capital city was last engulfed with ash in 1998.
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