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Entries in emergency in Guatemala (2)


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Guatemala volcano sparks state of emergency-ABC-NEWS

May 28, 2010  ABC NEWS

Firefighters evacuate the corpse of journalist Anibal Archila in  Guatemala

The burnt body of a Guatelamalan journalist was found near the volcano by a colleague (AFP: Johan Ordonez)

Guatemalan president Alvaro Colom has declared a state of emergency after a powerful eruption at the southern Pacaya volcano killed one person and forced the international airport to close.

Ash is blanketing the region 50 kilometres south of the capital, as rocks and lava spew from the volcano.

Mr Colom has issued an emergency decree lasting at least 15 days for the three departments nearest the eruption, which began Wednesday night and has since built in intensity.

The burnt body of Guatelamalan television journalist Anibal Archila was found near the volcano by a colleague, who said the reporter had been unable to escape the raining rocks and other projectiles thrown out in the eruption.

Officials say three children aged seven, nine and 10 are also missing in the area.

The La Aurora International Airport spokeswoman Monica Monge says the international airport has been closed to ensure planes were not flying through the volcano's hazardous ash cloud or landing on the ash-strewn runway.

Incoming flights have been diverted to airports in other parts of the country

Some 1,600 people were evacuated from the slopes of the volcano, which rises 2,552 metres above sea level in the tropical Central American nation.

There are 288 volcanoes in Guatemala, eight of which are active.