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Guatemala volcano sends out new superhot flows; curtain of ash expected

Guatemala volcano sends out new superhot flows; curtain of ash expected
A man pulls a cart as the Volcano of Fire blows out a cloud of ash, as seen from Escuintla, Guatemala, on June 5, 2018. (Moises Castillo / Associated Press)

Guatemala's seismology and volcanology institute says the new flow of searing hot volcanic material down the southeastern slopes of the Volcano of Fire is expected to produce a "curtain" of ash that the wind will carry to the west and northwest.

The institute's latest bulletin says the blowing ash could reach heights of about 20,000 feet above sea level. It warns civil aviation authorities to closely monitor and take precautions regarding air traffic.

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The report of new flows comes shortly after the country’s disaster agency announced new evacuations Tuesday afternoon and pulled back rescuers, police, journalists and others from towns destroyed after Sunday's volcanic eruption.

A short video posted by the agency showed a steady flow of traffic away from the volcano to the sound of a blaring alarm.

The agency says at least 70 people were killed by similar flows of searingly hot gases and ash on Sunday. The agency, known as Conred. also says the number of people in shelters is now 2,625. The country's National Institute of Forensic Sciences reported Tuesday that the latest fatality involved a person who died at a hospital

The volcanology institute says the volcano has been experiencing eight to 10 moderate explosions per hour Tuesday morning, though the scale of the activity is far lower than that of Sunday.

4:10 p.m.: This article has been updated with the seismology and volcanology institute’s report about ash from the volcano.

It was originally published at 2:25 p.m.

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