June 3, 2018 / 10:08 PM / 20 days ago

Guatemala volcano shuts down airport, forces some evacuations

GUATEMALA CITY, June 3 (Reuters) - Guatemala’s Fuego volcano spewed black smoke and ash into the sky on Sunday, prompting the evacuation of some 100 people and forcing the capital’s La Aurora international airport to shut down its only runway.

The runway was closed due to the presence of volcanic ash and in order to guarantee passenger and aircraft safety, Guatemala’s civil aviation authority said in a Tweet.

The active volcano is located some 25 miles (40 km) southwest of the capital Guatemala City.

Workers and guests were evacuated from the La Reunion golf club. A video circulating on social media showed a black cloud of ash rising from just beyond the golf club.

The huge plumes of smoke that could be seen from various parts of the country and the ash that rained down in four of Guatemala’s departments caused some alarm among residents.

Officials asked residents to remain calm.

“It is important to remain calm because the Fuego volcano erupts throughout the year,” said David de Leon, spokesman for the National Disaster Prevention Authority.

De Leon said a change in wind was to blame for the volcanic ash falling on parts of the city. (Reporting by Sofia Menchu Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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