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Guatemala’s Pacaya volcano after 48 days erupting, still very active

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Posted: Wednesday, March 24, 2021. 11:53 am CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Guatemala volcano which left the three Belizean cyclists, namely Henri Li, Jafari Castro and Wasani Castro flying to Panama, stranded in Guatemala yesterday continues its seismic activity for a 48th consecutive day.

Yesterday, the Pacaya sprayed gases and ashes upwards up to 4,500 metres above sea level and covered every town and city, including Guatemala City, in a 20-mile radius with black ashes.

The International Aurora Airport in Guatemala City was forced to close yesterday but reopened this morning.

The Guatemalan Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology, and Hydrology Institute, Insivumeh, said that after 48 days, the Pacaya activity is still at a high level and that they are continuing to monitor it.

Insivumeh said that over the last few hours the Pacaya has expelled plumes of volcanic gas and ashes upward anywhere between 3,000 to 4,500 metres above sea level in different directions.

Insivumeh added that its meteorological models show that the ashes can move to the Northeast and East at superficial to medium levels and to the Southwest at high levels of up to 5,000 metres above sea level.

The report said that sounds similar to low-sounding moving trains and sporadic explosions can be heard. The effusive type of activity has allowed the flow of lava on the Southeast side up to 1,400 metres in length.

The Insivumeh report added that heightened activity is expected during the next few days.

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