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Tag Archive: Guatemala


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 photo Guatemala 5.7 Mag EQ_zps1pea8ugo.png

USGS

Guatemala   5.7 Magnitude EQ  12/07/2015

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2 earthquakes in map area

  1. M 4.4 – 1km NE of Nueva Concepcion, Guatemala

    2015-12-08 13:59:17 UTC 72.0 km

  2. M 5.7 – 1km NNW of Masagua, Guatemala

    2015-12-07 22:53:36 UTC 108.6 km

 

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Strong earthquake strikes near Escuintla in Guatemala, southwest of capital city

PUBLISHED Mon, December 07, 2015 – 6:27pm EST


Credit: Google

A strongly felt earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.7 has struck near the city of Escuintla in south central Guatemala, not far from the capital, seismologists say. (more)

 

 



The earthquake, which struck at 4:53 p.m. local time on Monday, was centered next to Masagua about 12 kilometers (7 miles) southwest of Escuintla, or 59 kilometers (37 miles) southwest of Guatemala City. It struck about 108.6 kilometers (67.5 miles) deep, making it a relatively deep earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

 

 

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12 October 03 2015 02:50 AM Landslide Guatemala Municipio de Santa Catarina Pinula, El Cambray Dos Damage level Details

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Updated: Wednesday, 14 October, 2015 at 03:26 UTC

Description
Guatemalan authorities on Tuesday called off the search for victims buried under a massive landslide that killed at least 280 people near the Central American nation’s capital. The National Disaster Reduction Commission decided it was time to end the search and rescue operation, while work to stabilize and recover the disaster zone will continue, agency chief Alejandro Maldonado said. He said 70 people are listed as missing. The number has fluctuated in the nearly two weeks since the disaster as bodies were found and missing people were accounted for. Some 50 unidentified human remains will be subjected to DNA testing. “The people are aware that the necessary time has been given to searching for cadavers,” said Williams Mancilla, minister of national defense and a member of the disaster commission’s board. “Now they have passed that phase and what interests them is the next one.” The Oct. 1 slide unleashed at least 105 million cubic feet (3 million cubic meters) of earth on a neighborhood in Santa Catarina Pinula, on the outskirts of Guatemala City. Maldonado, who is the son of Guatemala’s president, also named Alejandro Maldonado, said it will be up to the local government to decide if the disaster area is declared a gravesite. Authorities promised financial aid for victims of the slide and are proposing to build 150 new homes for survivors on a 10-block parcel of land near Guatemala City that was seized from a convicted drug trafficker and gang leader.

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Bulldozers move land for a fourth day to search for victims of a fatal mudslide, amid new, smaller slides in Cambray, a neighborhood in the suburb of Santa Catarina Pinula, on the outskirts of Guatemala City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Moises

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Death toll in Guatemalan mudslide reaches 253, as 374 still remain missing

  • Mudslide 253 Deaths.jpg

    Rescuers leave after a day of searching for victims of a mudslide in Cambray, a neighborhood in the suburb of Santa Catarina Pinula, on the outskirts of Guatemala City, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. The death toll of the massive landslide has risen over 250 as the search for victims entered its second week. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

The death toll from the mammoth landslide that buried a neighborhood on the outskirts of Guatemala’s capital has risen to 253 as the search for victims enters its second week. Nearly 400 people were still missing Friday.

 

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October 03 2015 02:50 AM Landslide Guatemala Municipio de Santa Catarina Pinula, El Cambray Dos Damage level Details

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Landslide in Guatemala on Saturday, 03 October, 2015 at 02:50 (02:50 AM) UTC.

Description
Rescue workers in Guatemala are digging through rubble from a mudslide that hit a village not far from the capital, in search of hundreds missing. At least 26 bodies have so far been recovered from the village of El Cambray Dos, rescue services say. Heavy rains swept a torrent of boulders and mud onto houses on Thursday, 15km (nine miles) east of Guatemala City. Relatives have been receiving calls and texts from people trapped under the rubble, reporters at the scene say. The injured and homeless are being taken to makeshift shelters. Julio Sanchez, a spokesman for Guatemala’s volunteer firefighters, said 26 people had died and another 36 people were taken to hospitals.

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Sunday, 04 October, 2015 at 09:50 UTC

At least 30 people were dead and several hundred missing a day after a landslide smashed through a village on the outskirts of the Guatemalan capital, officials said. More than 500 rescue workers, police and soldiers, as well as desperate residents, clawed away at the debris with picks and shovels searching for survivors all day and into the late evening, before suspending the painstaking hunt for the night. Families reported receiving text messages from people they believed to still be trapped, more than 24 hours after the landslide struck the village of El Cambray II, in the municipality of Santa Catarina Pinula. Authorities said that about 600 people are missing and they expect the death toll to rise. Their estimate is based on the 125 homes that Thursday’s landslide destroyed or damaged after heavy rain. The affected area is about 15 kilometers (10 miles) east of the capital Guatemala City. “We have 29 dead people identified and one still unidentified,” Sergio Cabanas, incident commander for the government’s disaster reduction office CONRAD, told AFP. The victims include at least three children. Thirty-four people were pulled out alive from the mud and rubble, while 25 others were injured, CONRAD officials said. The impact of the heavy rain was exacerbated by a nearby river, officials said. Municipal authorities had urged the community several times to relocate, most recently in November last year. Amid the debris Josue Coloma, a 40-year-old mechanic, anxiously looked on as a rescue crew dug through the mud searching for any sign of his two nephews, ages 11 and 14. “My nephews should be in the place where I’m standing,” Coloma told AFP. “I have trust in God that they are well.” Two other relatives who were with the kids at the time of the landslide were pulled out alive, Coloma said, while their parents survived because they were out of the house at a religious service. “The rescue job is very difficult because of the terrain — it’s practically as if it were a mountain,” said Cecilio Chacaj, a rescuer with a local firefighter unit. Soon after Chacaj spoke to AFP he pulled out a survivor from the debris. President Alejandro Maldonado said that several countries, including the United States and Cuba, had offered to help. “We are a beautiful country but unfortunately we are vulnerable to this type of catastrophes,” Maldonado told reporters. The hunt for survivors was expected to resume at sun rise. Eight people had already died in previous weather-related events tied to Guatemala’s rainy season, which lasts from May to November, according to government data. Last year’s rainy season was linked to 29 deaths and damage to more than 9,000 homes.

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Sunday, 04 October, 2015 at 03:08 UTC

A Guatemalan emergency official says the number of people killed when a hillside collapsed Friday on more than 100 homes has risen to 56. Julio Sanchez, a spokesperson for Guatemala’s volunteer firefighters, says officials estimate that 350 people remain missing. The previous death toll was 30 and estimates of the number of missing had been as high as 600. Rescue specialists from the Red Cross and fire and police departments were using dogs to search for possible survivors in the mudslide zone on the outskirts of Guatemala City, where tons of earth fell over some 125 homes, authorities from the region estimate.

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Sunday, 04 October, 2015 at 16:07 UTC

Hopes faded of finding any remaining survivors of a massive landslide in Guatemala that killed at least 86 people, even as families scrabbled through rubble to find the bodies of loved-ones, with hundreds of others still missing. Distraught relatives of the victims shoveled alongside diggers through the mounds of earth that destroyed homes in Santa Catarina Pinula on the southeastern flank of Guatemala City after Thursday night’s collapse of a hillside. Every batch of earth turned up by the diggers held more personal belongings, from mattresses and books to toys and Christmas decorations, reminders of around 350 people who authorities said were still unaccounted for. Clutching photos of loved-ones, family members stood in line outside a makeshift morgue near the excavation site, some of them crying, to see if they recognized any corpses. “This is the worst thing that has happened to us,” said Ana Maria Escobar, a 48-year-old housewife, sobbing as she waited for news of 21 missing family members who lived in the town she had left a year ago. “So far only my sister-in-law has been found,” she added. One digger unearthed the body of a little girl with scratch marks on her arms and legs, which rescue workers said may have been signs of her struggles to escape. People looking on cried out to prevent the digger from destroying her body. Gaby Ramirez, an 18-year-old courier, had been searching for her brother with shovel in hand since 6 a.m., after the landslide buried a neighbor’s house he was visiting. “I don’t hope to find him alive, but I do hope to find his body and bury him,” she said. “I have to bury him, I can’t leave him there.” Loosened by rain, tons of earth, rock and trees had cascaded onto a neighborhood of the town known as El Cambray II near the bottom of a ravine, flattening houses and trapping residents who had gone home for the night. Some houses were buried under about 50 feet (15 meters) of earth, and Guatemalan disaster agency Conred said it doubted any other survivors would be found. “Hope is the last think you lose, so we hope to find someone alive,” said Guatemala’s defense minister Williams Mansilla, though he also acknowledged the likelihood was very low. At last count, the Attorney General’s office reported 86 dead via Twitter, though fears that hundreds more remain trapped threaten to make the landslide one of the worst natural disasters to hit Central America in recent years. Among the dead were 17 children, and at least 26 people were injured. On Friday, there were reports of family members receiving text messages of buried survivors asking to be rescued. Authorities said they did not rescue a single survivor on Saturday despite a team of around 1,800 volunteers, soldiers and firemen. But some 400 survivors had been evacuated in total from the site since the tragedy, they added. The search was scheduled to end around 7.30 p.m. local time, and in keeping with international protocol, it would be relaunched for at least one more day on Sunday. Due to the unstable terrain and wet weather, volunteers would no longer be allowed to assist on Sunday. The tragedy has hit Guatemala after weeks of political turmoil, just as it prepares to elect a new president. Last month, outgoing President Otto Perez was forced to stand down and was arrested on corruption charges. In October 2005, heavy rainfall triggered a devastating landslide in Panabaj in the southwest of the Central American country, burying the village. Hundreds of people are believed to have died, and many of the bodies were never recovered.

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Updated: Monday, 05 October, 2015 at 02:55 UTC
Description
At least 131 people were killed in mudslides that smashed into a village outside Guatemala City, officials said, three days after the disaster struck the Central American nation. “Unfortunately, a new count shows that there are 131 confirmed dead and recovered,” and still about 300 people missing and unaccounted for, said volunteer fire brigade spokesman Julio Sanchez. He told reporters yesterday that several young children, including newborn babies, were among the dead in Santa Catarina Pinula. On Thursday night, following heavy rain, waterlogged earth and debris tore through the village of El Cambray II, in the municipality of Santa Catarina Pinula, destroying or damaging 125 homes. Relatives of the missing checked in at a makeshift morgue set up next to the buried homes. Municipal authorities had urged the community, about 15 kilometres east of the capital Guatemala City, to relocate several times, most recently in November of last year. But many families have refused, saying that they have nowhere to go. “We can’t live here any more,” Carlos Hernandez, an electrician who survived the landslide, lamented as he stepped between rescuers with his few remaining belongings on his shoulder. Late yesterday, rescue workers had to suspend their work when rain resumed, making things too dangerous to continue before Monday. The bad news came as, with every passing hour, hopes for finding survivors fade a bit further.

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Updated: Tuesday, 06 October, 2015 at 17:14 UTC
Description
The death toll from a mudslide on the outskirts of the Guatemalan capital has climbed to 152, as rescue workers recover more bodies from a hillside. The development came late Monday, with chief of emergency services Alejandro Maldonado saying that at least 300 people were still unaccounted for. The landslide, which was triggered by torrential rains, happened in the Cambray neighborhood in Guatemala City’s suburb of Santa Catarina Pinula on October 1. Search crews have found entire families who died huddled together and buried alive. “We found almost all of them huddled together, which means that they were going to try and evacuate but sadly they didn’t have time,” Sergio Cabanas, an official at Guatemala’s National Disaster Reduction Commission, known as the Conred, said. “Some died from the impact, some from asphyxiation and some… from heart attacks,” he added. The Conred has now declared the area uninhabitable.

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Updated: Wednesday, 07 October, 2015 at 03:21 UTC
Description
The death toll from a landslide caused by heavy rain in Guatemala’s Santa Catarina Pinula municipality reached 175, the country’s public prosecutor’s office said Tuesday. The earlier reports had put the number of victims at 161. More than 300 people remain missing. “Prosecutors [on site] report that 175 bodies have been recovered as of now,” the office said on Twitter. The landslide occurred late on Thursday in a suburb located about 9 miles east of the country’s capital Guatemala City, burying some 125 homes. Nearly 1,800 people are involved in the ongoing search and rescue operations, including Red Cross workers, police officers and rescue teams.

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Updated: Wednesday, 07 October, 2015 at 18:36 UTC
Description
Guatemala raised today the death toll to 186, confirmed by a recent landslide that buried a community near the capital and where there are still nearly 300 missing. The Public Prosecutor updated the data after the morgue received more bodies recovered in the last hours by rescue teams of the country and Mexican brigades. According to the State Coordinator for Disaster Reduction, crews continue to search for the missing with the support of canine units, but with no hope of finding any survivors. A huge landslide buried last Thursday El Cambray II locality, located at 15 kilometers from the Guatemalan capital and where the ground was saturated by the rains of the previous days. That community was included among high-risk areas by poor urban planning and the high concentration of poverty. The government described the tragedy as the worst and strongest of 2015, as it left under mud125 homes and 172 homeless. Moreover, declared uninhabitable the area where the landslide occurred, restricted press access and instructed rescuers to wear masks at all times because of the strong odors emitted by decomposing bodies. On this day national mourning decreed concludes Monday in tribute to the victims.

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Updated: Thursday, 08 October, 2015 at 11:52 UTC
Description
Rescue workers pulled 20 more bodies from a landslide outside the Guatemalan capital, bringing the number of confirmed dead to 191, officials have said. “The latest toll of victims is 191,” said Julio Sanchez yesterday, a spokesman for the firefighters and other rescue personnel working at the site on the outskirts of Guatemala City. Authorities said about 150 people still have not been accounted for, as they searched for more bodies at the disaster site in the village of Cambray II. A growing stench from decomposing bodies has filled the air at the scene of the tragedy, requiring workers to don face masks as the carry on with their grim recovery efforts. The village — in a section of the town of Santa Catarina Pinula, some 15 kilometers east of the capital — was buried late Thursday by a mountain of mud and debris following heavy rains. Rescuers said it would be nothing short of a miracle if anyone were found alive at this point, as they continue their search for more bodies, aided by specially-trained dogs. Officials said they also have opened an investigation to determine who or what might have been responsible for the disaster.

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Updated: Friday, 09 October, 2015 at 02:53 UTC
Description
At least 220 bodies have been recovered after a massive landslide buried part of a town in Guatemala last week while about 350 people are missing, national disaster agency Conred said on Thursday. Loosened by heavy rains, a hillside collapsed onto Santa Catarina Pinula on the southeastern flank of Guatemala City on Oct. 1, burying more than a hundred homes under tons of earth, rock and trees, and sparking a huge rescue effort. Conred said 386 people were evacuated after the tragedy, one of the worst in years to strike Central America, a region long been prone to devastating floods. Entire families were buried alive and hundreds of rescue workers have spent the past week trying to dig out bodies. Guatemalan authorities initially said up to 600 people were accounted for in the disaster. Since then, it has given various estimates on the number missing. Prosecutors in Guatemala said they are looking at whether there was any criminal misconduct at the site after Conred had warned of the risks of building homes in the neighbourhood, which lies at the bottom of a deep ravine.

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Updated: Saturday, 10 October, 2015 at 03:01 UTC
Description
The death toll from the mammoth landslide that buried a neighborhood on the outskirts of Guatemala’s capital has risen to 253 as the search for victims enters its second week. Nearly 400 people were still missing Friday. Deputy hospitals minister Israel Lemus said officials still had not decided to suspend the search in Santa Catarina Pinula, but planned to meet to discuss it on Monday. Alejandro Maldonado, executive director of the National Disaster Reduction Commission, said the current count of missing people stood at 374. He said 184 homes were affected. Maldonado said the decision to stop or continue looking for bodies would be based on the risk to search crews.

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Updated: Saturday, 10 October, 2015 at 03:01 UTC
Description
The death toll from the mammoth landslide that buried a neighborhood on the outskirts of Guatemala’s capital has risen to 253 as the search for victims enters its second week. Nearly 400 people were still missing Friday. Deputy hospitals minister Israel Lemus said officials still had not decided to suspend the search in Santa Catarina Pinula, but planned to meet to discuss it on Monday. Alejandro Maldonado, executive director of the National Disaster Reduction Commission, said the current count of missing people stood at 374. He said 184 homes were affected. Maldonado said the decision to stop or continue looking for bodies would be based on the risk to search crews.

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Volcán de Fuego
Volcan de Fuego October 1974 eruption.jpg

Volcán de Fuego, 1974 eruption. via Wikipedia.org
Elevation 3,763 m (12,346 ft)

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RSOE EDIS
Event Report

Volcano Eruption Guatemala Sierra Madre, [Volcan de Fuego] Damage level Details

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Volcano Eruption in Guatemala on Thursday, 08 October, 2015 at 03:16 (03:16 AM) UTC.

Description
The Volcan de Fuego (Fire Volcano( of Guatemala registered Wednesday its 8th eruption in this year, and keeps itself expelling gases and ashes to more than 4,800 meters of altitude over sea level. A communique by the National Seismology and Volcanology Institute gave information on the implementation of the yellow alert in the region and called the population to keep informed on the situation. Also, it recommended the authorities of the aeronautics to take precautions with the air traffic, since the ash column can increase in the next hours. The colossus with 1,300 meters high, as he warned the National Coordinating committee for the Reduction of Disasters, can increase the energy in the next hours and there is probability to generate ardent clouds that may descend on its skirts. For the time being it is not necessary to realize evacuations, said the entity.

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Volcano Eruption in Guatemala on Thursday, 08 October, 2015 at 03:16 (03:16 AM) UTC.

Base data
EDIS Number: VE-20151008-50410-GTM
Event type: Volcano Eruption
Date/Time: Thursday, 08 October, 2015 at 03:16 (03:16 AM) UTC
Last update:
Cause of event:
Damage level: Minor Damage level
Geographic information
Continent: Central-America
Country: Guatemala
County / State: Sierra Madre
Area: Volcan de Fuego
City:
Coordinate: N 19° 33.800, W 103° 36.500
Number of affected people / Humanities loss
Foreign people: Affected is unknown.

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The number of people killed by the deadly landslide that hit a Guatemalan city has risen to 131, authorities said, with potentially 300 more people still missing three days after the disaster.

An estimated 125 homes were buried in El Cambray, a village on the outskirts of the capital, Guatemala City, when a 300ft hillside collapsed and covered an area of four acres with mud and dirt around 14 metres deep.

Rescue workers continued to pull corpses from the mud on Sunday as families began to bury their dead in the overcrowded local cemetery.

A funeral procession for the son and grandaughter of 59-year-old carpenter and painter Ismael Estrada saw 200 people walking through the streets to the cemetary. Estrada returned to the improvised morgue immediately after the service to search for his 19 family members that are still missing.

 

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SHAKE AND BLOW

Guatemala warns pilots of ash plume from volcano

by Staff Writers
Guatemala City (AFP) Nov 04, 2013
Guatemalan authorities cautioned pilots Monday that increased activity in the country’s Fuego volcano had dispersed ash into the atmosphere.

The column of volcanic ash has risen 4,500 meters (914,700 feet) above sea level in a southwesterly direction, Guatemala’s disaster response agency said.

The volcano, which is located in southwestern Guatemala, is “presenting changes in the pattern of eruptions with an increase in the number of moderate and strong explosions,” it said.

The Fuego volcano, one of three active volcanos in Guatemala, had a strong eruption September 13, 2012 that prompted the authorities to evacuate of 5,500 people who live on its slopes.

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 Earth Watch Report  –  Volcanic Activity

Santa Maria volcano satellite image (c) Google Earth View

Santa María / Santiaguito volcano

Stratovolcano 3772 m (12,375 ft)
Guatemala, 14.76°N / -91.55°W
Santa María / Santiaguito volcano eruptions:
1902 (catastrophic Plinian eruption), 1903, 1922 (from SW flank: Santiaguito), 2002-ongoing
Typical eruption style:
Dominantly explosive, formation of lava domes
Santa María / Santiaguito webcams / live data
Last earthquakes nearby

23.09.2013 Volcano Eruption Guatemala Quetzaltenango Department, [Santiaguito volcano] Damage level Details

Volcano Eruption in Guatemala on Monday, 23 September, 2013 at 03:20 (03:20 AM) UTC.

Description
Another violent eruption occurred at the lava dome yesterday morning (21 Sep) at 8:30 local time. Accompanied by explosions, the Caliente dome suddenly produced a series of major pyroclastic flows triggered by collapse of accumulated viscous lava at the southeastern rim rim and flank of the dome. The flows descended on all sides of the lava dome. The explosions, accompanied by shock waves that could be heard in 20 km radius, produced an ash plume that rose to about 4.5 km altitude or about 2 km height above the crater. Significant (but smaller compared) ash plume rose from the pyroclastic flows. Ash fall occurred in Quetzaltenango, Santa María de Jesús, Zuníl and other areas downwind. There has been no recognized precursor to the eruption, illustrating that the activity of the lava dome is highly unpredictable and potentially extremely dangerous. A similar eruption occurred almost exactly one month ago.

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Earth Watch Report  –  Volcanic Activity

Pacaya volcano satellite image by (c) Google Earth View

Pacaya volcano satellite image by (c) Google Earth View

25.07.2013 03:09 PM Escuintla Department, Guatemala Pacaya Volcano Volcano Activity 1402-11= Complex volcano 2010 No. 0 Details

Volcano Activity in Guatemala on Thursday, 25 July, 2013 at 17:09 (05:09 PM) UTC.

Description
Seismic and surface activity have increased during the past days, characterized by the appearance of continuous tremor and more frequent strombolian explosions, the latest special bulletin of INSIVUMEH notes. This suggests a batch of fresh magma is currently rising. The Guatemalan scientists think that it is likely that strombolian activity will increase and perhaps a lava flow will appear on the flanks of the volcano in the coming days. Already, the intra-crater cone has surpassed the rim of the crater by 4 meters and is now visible from outside.

Pacaya volcano (Guatemala): increasing activity

Thursday Jul 25, 2013 16:14 PM | BY: T

Seismic and surface activity have increased during the past days, characterized by the appearance of continuous tremor and more frequent strombolian explosions, the latest special bulletin of INSIVUMEH notes.
This suggests a batch of fresh magma is currently rising. The Guatemalan scientists think that it is likely that strombolian activity will increase and perhaps a lava flow will appear on the flanks of the volcano in the coming days.

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Earth Watch Report  –  Volcanic Activity

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30.05.2013 Volcano Eruption Guatemala Escuintla Department, [Pacaya Volcano] Damage level
Details

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Volcano Eruption in Guatemala on Thursday, 30 May, 2013 at 19:39 (07:39 PM) UTC.

Description
Guatemala’s Pacaya volcano has erupted, sending volcanic material more than 400 metres in the air, authorities say. The Institute of Vulcanology warned that the eruption could intensify with ash rising as high as 1000 to 2000 metres, posing a threat to air traffic at Guatemala’s international airport. “Ash could spread over Guatemala City due to the direction of the wind,” the country’s disaster response office said in a statement. The last major eruption of Pacaya, in May 2010, claimed the life of a television journalist, drove thousands of people from their homes and forced the closure of the Guatemala City airport for five days. The 2552 metre-high Pacaya is 50 kilometres south of the capital and one of three active volcanoes in Guatemala.

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democracynow democracynow

Published on Apr 19, 2013

http://www.democracynow.org – In 1982, investigative journalist Allan Nairn interviewed a Guatemalan general named “Tito” on camera during the height of the indigenous massacres. It turns out the man was actually Otto Pérez Molina, the current Guatemalan president. We air the original interview footage and speak to Nairn about the U.S. role backing the Guatemalan dictatorship. Last week, Nairn flew to Guatemala where he had been scheduled to testify in the trial of former U.S.-backed dictator Efraín Ríos Montt, the first head of state in the Americas to stand trial for genocide. Ríos Montt was charged in connection with the slaughter of more than 1,700 people in Guatemala’s Ixil region after he seized power in 1982. His 17-month rule is seen as one of the bloodiest chapters in Guatemala’s decades-long campaign against Maya indigenous people, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands. The trial took a surprising turn last week when Guatemala President Gen. Otto Pérez Molina was directly accused of ordering executions. A former military mechanic named Hugo Reyes told the court that Pérez Molina, then serving as an army major and using the name Tito Arias, ordered soldiers to burn and pillage a Maya Ixil area in the 1980s.

Exclusive: Allan Nairn Exposes Role of U.S., New Guatemalan President in Indigenous Massacres 2 of 2

democracynow democracynow

Published on Apr 19, 2013

http://www.democracynow.org – In 1982, investigative journalist Allan Nairn interviewed a Guatemalan general named “Tito” on camera during the height of the indigenous massacres. It turns out the man was actually Otto Pérez Molina, the current Guatemalan president. We air the original interview footage and speak to Nairn about the U.S. role backing the Guatemalan dictatorship. Last week, Nairn flew to Guatemala where he had been scheduled to testify in the trial of former U.S.-backed dictator Efraín Ríos Montt, the first head of state in the Americas to stand trial for genocide. Ríos Montt was charged in connection with the slaughter of more than 1,700 people in Guatemala’s Ixil region after he seized power in 1982. His 17-month rule is seen as one of the bloodiest chapters in Guatemala’s decades-long campaign against Maya indigenous people, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands. The trial took a surprising turn last week when Guatemala President Gen. Otto Pérez Molina was directly accused of ordering executions. A former military mechanic named Hugo Reyes told the court that Pérez Molina, then serving as an army major and using the name Tito Arias, ordered soldiers to burn and pillage a Maya Ixil area in the 1980s.

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