While Guatemalan president visits Costa Rica, a volcano forces ‘massive evacuation’ back home
Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina had some bad timing with his visit to Costa Rica on Thursday.
While meeting in San José with Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla about regional security this afternoon, a volcano erupted in Guatemala, forcing a “massive evacuation” of thousands people.
Alejandro Maldonado, head of the Disaster Relief Network, said in a statement that the Fuego Volcano, located 40 kilometers southwest of the capital, is spewing lava and ash 600 meters below, forcing the evacuation of communities close to the base of the volcano. The number of evacuees is estimated to be close to 33,000 people.
Volcano Fuego is one of the most active in Central America, but a local volcanologist said eruptions are rarely this powerful.
“This type of eruption is abnormal, and we have not observed it for years,” said Gustavo Chigná of Guatemala’s Volcanology Institute.
Chinchilla and Pérez Molina will have a joint press conference scheduled for 2:30 p.m. to discuss their meeting. No announcement has been made yet about whether the volcano will affect their plans.
AFP contributed to this report
You may be interested
Of snow, kindness and Northern Lights: a Costa Rican in Manitoba, CanadaGustavo Díaz Cruz - December 14, 2017
My mom named me Gustavo Adolfo. I was born in Puntarenas, next to the sea, but my home was in…
Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto RicoJohn McPhaul - December 13, 2017
As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the horrendous 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…
Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impactJohn McPhaul - December 12, 2017
As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the devastating 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…