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Thousands flee as Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupts

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Almost 4,000 people have been evacuated from the slopes of the Fuego volcano in Guatemala.

image copyrightEPA
image captionFirefighters helped people living on the slopes of the volcano to evacuate
image copyrightAFP
image captionMany took shelter in a sports stadium where the authorities erected tents

The stratovolcano southwest of the city of Antigua began erupting on Sunday, with ash and lava spewing from its crater.

image copyrightAFP
image captionLava spewed from the volcano, giving it an orange glow at night

It comes five months after almost 200 people were buried by volcanic ash and mud during a violent eruption in June. That eruption generated pyroclastic flows - fast-moving mixtures of very hot gas and volcanic matter - which descended down the slopes, engulfing communities such as El Rodeo and San Miguel Los Lotes.

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Volcanologists say lava is rising 500m above the volcano's crater.

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image captionThe ash cloud rising from the volcano could be seen from far away
image copyrightEPA
image copyrightAFP

The ash cloud exceeds a height of 1km (3,280ft) above the 3,763m-tall (12,250ft) volcano.

Fuego is one of Latin America's most active volcanoes.

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