By IANS
19 months ago | Published on : 11:22 pm, 13 Sep 2012

Mexico, Sep 14 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated in Guatemala after the Fuego volcano eruption, which the specialists estimate to be the most powerful since 1999 in this Central American country, media reports said.

The authorities of Guatemala announced the highest "red" level of alert Thursday as Fuego began spewing ash as high as 1,000 metres in the air and outpouring lava that covered an area of seven square kilometres on the southern slopes of the volcano.

According to various local media sources, between 10,000 and 33,000 people were evacuated from residential areas near the Fuego, located just 50 km from the Guatemala City.

The authorities recommended air traffic controllers to reroute or suspend flights in the vicinity of the Fuego in case the altitude of discharged ash reaches 1,500 metres.

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