Friday, May 28, 2010

Volcano erupts near Guatemala City.....

(CNN) -- Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom called for calm as a volcanic eruption spread ash over the capital, prompting evacuations and shutting down the city's international airport.
At least least one person, a reporter for CNN affiliate Noti 7, has died as a result of the eruption. The TV station announced early Friday that reporter Anibal Archila was killed when he was hit by debris from the volcano.
Four people were missing as evacuations continued, the president said.
At least 1,800 people have been placed in shelters after four villages near the volcano were evacuated, said David de Leon, a spokesman for the national disaster commission.
Are you in Guatemala? Share your volcanic activity photos, video
Pacaya volcano, located about 15 miles (25 km) south of Guatemala City, began spewing ash and soot about 7 p.m. (9 p.m. ET) Thursday.
The runway at La Aurora International Airport -- the third busiest airport in Central America in terms of passenger traffic -- was covered with two inches of ash and will be closed Friday, Colom said.
About 25 percent of the airport's daily flights had to be diverted to alternative airports after La Aurora was closed around 7:30 p.m., said Monica Monje with Civil Aeronautics.

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