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Pacaya eruption.

Seattle, Washington
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Pacaya eruption.

From the BBC news today:

Hundreds of Guatemalans have been forced to flee their homes, amid an eruption by one of the country's most active volcanoes. Pacaya began spewing lava, rocks and debris on Thursday, leaving one person dead and three children missing.

At least 1,600 people have fled the eruption, some 30km (19 miles) south of the capital city. The volcano covered parts of Guatemala City in ash, forcing the closure of the country's main international airport. Officials said La Aurora airport would remain closed into Saturday, and flights were being diverted to other parts of the country.

Anyone in country have anything more to report?

Edited: 28 May 2010, 19:16
USA
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1. Re: Pacaya eruption.

I just sent an email to someone who lives close. As far as airports... Santa Elena is the other airport. This normally services flights to Tikal. They aren't set up for volume. The road to GC is good but you'd be looking at an 8 hr. bus ride. Xela has an airport if one is desparate. Other than that... I know a stretch of road an hour or so out of Coban that is popular with drug runners... but kinda narrow. This happens alot. The latest series date back to 1965. Just that after Iceland the European press is quicker to pick up on it. And before anyone asks... Antigua will be fine. Ash blows the other way. Maybe this will tame the almost fanatical belief that any trip to Guat. must include a climb up Pacaya. For those who care about the development of tourist resources over the long term Guat. has 30 volcanoes. Lake Atitlan was formed 84,000 years ago when a volcano ejected 72 cubic miles of material covering an area from Florida to Ecuador. In contrast Mt. St. Helens spewed .67 cubic miles. That is POINT 67. Several of the other volcanoes have the geologic potential to become other Lake Atitlans. While this will provide a tremendous growth in tourist resources there would be a slight lag as an eruption on the scale of Atitlan would probably kill all human and animal life in Guatemala and extreme southern Mexico. The road from Guat. City to Antigua would probably be blocked.

Bethesda, MD
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2. Re: Pacaya eruption.

I'm taking a student group down later in June. The agent I'm working with in Antigua had already e-mailed me by the time I got home yesterday about arranging an alternate activity to the Pacaya hike we'd planned. From the reports, it seems that this eruption is not nearly as large the one in 1998 (or thereabouts), when the airport was closed for two weeks.

California
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3. Re: Pacaya eruption.

News reports said three children were still missing. Anyone know if they were ever found? My heart goes out to the families.

My son and I leave for Central America in 4 weeks and have already booked an overnight trip up the volcano in the end of June with Outdoor Excursions. We were wondering if there will be any chance of us still making the trip up the volcano?. For my 18 year old, it's the reason we chose Guatemala for our vacation. (We're going to Belize also)

Wilmington,De
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4. Re: Pacaya eruption.

Any updates on the volcano and its impact on travel . I plan on being there next Wednesday and I'm not even sure if our flights are still on schedule. They are talking about additional volcanic eruptions so what I'm concerned about keeping my plans were making other arrangements. I would appreciate hearing from people in the country as soon as possible

USA
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5. Re: Pacaya eruption.

Just heard from my friends. Turns out they were in GC at the time and it was raining and overcast so they know what was happening at first. A journalist was killed covering the eruption. No word on the kids but then locals don't get all bent out on that sort of thing. Turns out an Italian tourist was killed up there a couple months ago. Their house is near Fuego and they have built a couple terraces on the side for viewing. Since this began Fuego have been calm. Maybe they are connected. No official word on the airport after today. There aren't a lot of options. If you are flying in over the next few days I'd be prepared to let your hotel know of delays. Fortunately, most folks have sense enough not to book those long all inclusive tours that are on a fixed calendar. Excellent reason for what I always say, book most activities here upon arrival and never more than a day or two in advance.

6. Re: Pacaya eruption.

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Removed on: 26 November 2010, 06:17