Guatemala's Fire volcano rumbles back to life

GUATEMALA CITY (AFP) - Guatemala's Fire volcano erupted on Tuesday for the first time in nearly two years, causing panic in nearby villages and prompting aviation authorities to re-route air traffic.

The volcano in the country's southwest spewed smoke and ash at the rate of three or four times per hour, officials said. Geologists said the volcano belched out huge columns of smoke measuring as high as 4,300 metres.

The volcano, which is more than 3,700 metres high, is located between the departments of Chimaltenango, Escuintla and Sacatepequez, in south-west Guatemala.

One of three active volcanoes in the country, the last time it rumbled to life was in September 2012, sparking mass evacuations.

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