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Evacuations after new eruption at Guatemalan volcano

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Emergency services in Guatemala are evacuating areas around the Fuego volcano after a new eruption sent lava spewing down its south side.

At least 72 deaths have been reported since the volcano first erupted on Sunday, with many others missing.

Authorities say more than 1.7 million people have been affected by the eruption, with more than 3,000 evacuated and many living in shelters.

Villages on the slopes of the volcano were buried in volcanic ash and mud.

Volcanologists said earlier on Tuesday that the initial eruption, which sent ash up to 10km (33,000ft) into the sky, was over for the near future.

Eddy Sanchez, the head of Guatemala’s National Institute of Seismology, had said there would be “no imminent eruption over the next few days”.

No evacuation alert was issued before the volcano erupted on Sunday, said Sergio Cabañas, the director of Guatemala’s disaster prevention agency.

He said that local residents had received training in emergency procedures, but were not able to implement them because the initial volcanic activity happened too fast.

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BBC News – World

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