The Guatemalan governmental agency for natural disasters (CONRED) has ordered the evacuation of towns near the Fuego volcano that erupted Sunday, as authorities warned of increased activity.
CONRED ordered residents in the Escuintla area to leave their homes and strongly urged against travel to Chimaltenango, and Sacatepequez, including the town of Antigua, as the death toll from Sunday’s eruption rose to 75, with 200 residents known to be missing.
"The conditions are extremely critical at this moment," Eddy Sánchez, director of Insivumeh, told reporters Tuesday. Insivumeh is Guatemala’s seismological, volcanic and meteorological institute.
Fuego experienced its most devastating eruption in more than 40 years on Sunday, sending lava and ash flows hurtling through nearby towns, and depositing ash on the country’s capital and main international airport. Airlines were cancelling and delaying some flights early this week.
Heavy rains are forecast for the coming days, the U.S. State Department said on its website, which could complicate recovery efforts and cause “hazardous conditions.” CONRED recommended that tourists not attempt to hike the volcano.
As a result, many roads are considered off limits to all Embassy personnel for both personal and official travel through Sunday, June 10, 2018, the State Department said, including CA – 1 westbound, CA – 2 westbound, and CA – 9 from Guatemala City to San Jose Port.
Embassy operations are normal.