Guatemala volcano: Fuego eruption showers towns in ash

image copyrightAFP
image captionLocals 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 copyrightAFP
image captionThe streets of Antigua Guatemala, a nearby town, were covered in dust
image copyrightReuters
image captionVolcanic ash coated cars
image copyrightAFP
image captionVehicle owners had to wipe off the dust
image copyrightAP
image captionWorkers also had to clean up after the eruption
image copyrightAP
image captionFace masks were worn by tourists
image copyrightAFP
image captionThe Fuego volcano is about 40km south-west of the capital

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