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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Communities near Guatemala's erupting Volcano of Fire told to relocate

Disaster co-ordination authorities have asked eight communities to get to safe areas

The Volcan de Fuego, or Volcano of Fire, spews hot molten lava from its crater in Antigua, Guatemala, early Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. AP
The Volcan de Fuego, or Volcano of Fire, spews hot molten lava from its crater in Antigua, Guatemala, early Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. AP

Disaster coordination authorities have asked eight communities in Guatemala to evacuate and go to safe areas after an increased eruption of the Volcano of Fire.

The eight communities have about 2,000 residents, but each community will decide if they evacuate or not. Antigua al Rescate, an organisation that helped communities after a devastating eruption in June, and a newspaper in the capital reported at least three communities were doing so.

The volcano is located among the departments of Escuintla, Chimaltenango and Sacatepequez in the south-central part of the country.

David de Leon, spokesman for the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction, told The Associated Press that at least eight communities should leave.

Mr 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.

The Volcano of Fire is one of the most active in Central America.

An eruption in June killed 194 people and left at least 234 missing, although organisations supporting the communities have insisted there are thousands of missing persons. It spewed more ash and lava in October, prompting warnings for the nearby communities.