Lava and Ash from Fuego Volcano Kills 33 in Guatemala

Live Science | 6/4/2018 | Staff
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A volcanic eruption in Guatemala that spewed out ashy plumes and scorching-hot lava on Sunday (June 3) has killed at least 33 people, according to news reports.

The volcano, known as Volcán de Fuego (Volcano of Fire), erupted just before noon local time. Lava as hot as 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit (700 degrees Celsius) sped down the volcano's slopes and into the surrounding villages, covering roads, burning houses and hampering rescue efforts, Eddy Sánchez, director of the country’s seismology and volcanology institute, told the Associated Press (AP).

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Volcán de Fuego is a stratovolcano, meaning its 12,346-foot-tall (3,763 meters), mountainous peak is made up of layers of lava, volcanic rock fragments called tephra and pyroclastic flows — a dense mix of ash, lava fragments and gases that rocket out of volcanoes at high speeds.

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The volcano is part of the Central American Volcanic Arc, which extends about 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) along the Pacific coast of Central America. These volcanoes sit on the western edge of the Caribbean tectonic plate, along an active subduction zone. In this case, the adjacent Cocos Plate is subducting under the Caribbean Plate, according to a 2017 report from the Complutense University of Madrid.

Guatemala's Volcán de Fuego sits on the Pacific Ocean side of the...
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