Guatemala's "Volcan de Fuego," or Fire Volcano, began spewing ash and lava Thursday morning, prompting thousands of residents to flee nearly 20 communities situated at the base of the 12,346 foot volcano. Authorities have not reported any deaths, but the Red Cross reported that several people were treated for respiratory problems.
The eruption began around 10 a.m. and continued into the afternoon. It is expected to last until Friday morning. Authorities ordered nearly 35,000 people in 17 villages within 12 miles of Volcan de Fuego to evacuate to shelters on safer ground. Some residents chose to remain with their homes.
A red alert was issued for areas south and southeast of the volcano because of heavy ash and smoke. Ash was reported in areas as far as 25 miles from Volcan de Fuego. Authorities advised people in those areas to remain inside their homes.
Volcan de Fuego, one of the most active volcanoes in Central America, is located about 6 miles southwest of the city of Antigua. This is the sixth time the volcano has erupted this year.
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