Latin America & Caribbean

Guatemala volcano: Fuego eruption showers towns in ash

People walk with face masks due to ashes from the Fuego volcano in Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez departamento, 45 km southwest of Guatemala City on Febrary 7, 2015.
Image caption Locals wore face masks to protect themselves

Scores of residents have been evacuated from their homes in southern Guatemala after the Fuego volcano erupted, the country's president says.

Clouds of black ash belched into the sky, while showers of rock and dust fell on to surrounding towns.

The international airport in the capital Guatemala City was closed as result of the explosion, President Otto Perez said.

It is expected to reopen later on Sunday, reports suggest.

The Fuego volcano is about 40km (25 miles) south-west of the capital and stands 3,763 metres (12,346 feet) above sea level.

In September 2012 the authorities evacuated thousands of people from the area after Fuego started spewing large volumes of lava and ash.

Experts said at the time it was the biggest eruption from the mountain since 1999.

Image caption The streets of Antigua Guatemala, a nearby town, were covered in dust
Image caption Volcanic ash coated cars
Image caption Vehicle owners had to wipe off the dust
Image caption Workers also had to clean up after the eruption
Image caption Face masks were worn by tourists
Image caption The Fuego volcano is about 40km south-west of the capital

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