Guatemala City, November 19: Authorities in Guatemala have called for communities around the southern Volcano of Fire to evacuate, after observing increased activity and intensifying eruptions in the area.
An eruption of the same volcano in June killed 194 people. Official tolls say another 234 are missing, although support groups say they believe there are thousands missing, presumed dead. The evacuation order was not mandatory and affects around 2,000 people in eight villages around the volcano.
David de Leon, spokesman for the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction, said the communities should leave and go to safer areas, but it is up to them whether they decide to evacuate or not.
De Leon said monitoring of the volcano's activity during the day Sunday showed the intensity of the eruption was being maintained, so the evacuation was called for to protect people.
At least three communities were heeding the order, according to Antigua al Rescate, an organisation that offered assistance in the aftermath of the devastating eruption in June.
That event was the deadliest eruption in Guatemala since 1929. Then, around 3,100 people were ordered to evacuate but, with the eruption resulting in a fast-moving pyroclastic flow of hot gas and rock, communities around the volcano had very little time to flee.