From staff and wire reports
GUATEMALA CITY -- Emergency workers on Sunday were evacuating
residents from villages in the path of lava spewing from an erupting volcano
near Guatemala's capital city.
The volcano, known as Pacaya, is located close to the Aurora airport near
the town of San Vicente, about 35 kilometers (21.7 miles) from Guatemala
City. Pacaya erupted Sunday, sending lava, fire and ash thousands of feet
into the air, and forcing the evacuation of about 2,000 nearby residents,
according to freelance journalist Martin Asturias.
"Some people don't want to leave their homes," Asturias told CNN by
phone Sunday night.
Part of crater appears destroyed
Asturias said more than 50 people who close to the volcano when it
had been burned or otherwise injured. Those people were evacuated immediately
and were treated by firemen and emergency services," Asturias said.
"We are evacuating people in local villages in case they get cut off,"
Rivera, a firefighter said.
Experts at a local seismological station reported glowing lava flowing
south from the volcano toward the town of El Caracol. They said part
of the volcano's crater appeared to have been destroyed by its own eruption.
Luis Alberto Sanchez Flores, of the National Volcanologist Institute, said
eruption was sending spurts of lava 1,000 meters (1,100 yards) into the air
and heavy winds were carrying flakes of ash as far as 48 kilometers (30
miles) south of the volcano.
Pacaya is most active of nation's volcanoes
Pacaya is the most active of Guatemala's 32 volcanoes, with three lava
formed by eruptions between 1989 and 1991.
In 1998, the volcano twice spewed up plumes of ash, forcing evacuations
and shutting down the airport in Guatemala City.
Mexico City Bureau Chief Harris Whitbeck, The Associated Press and Reuters
to this report.