Pacaya Volcano, located 47 kilometers south of the capital, has had increased activity in recent days with ash and gas being released into the air, said the Institute of Volcanology (Insivumeh). On Wednesday, the institute issued a preventive alert and recommended the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conrad) to keep monitoring the 2,500-meter-tall volcano, located between the departments of Guatemala City and Escuintla. "The activity yesterday [Tuesday] was a manifestation of reactivation, so people should be aware of developments in coming days," Insivumeh experts said. Conrad also released a statement on its website that recommends people "to keep informed and be aware of official information provided by authorities."

The last eruption of Pacaya occurred in May 2010 when a powerful explosion sent ashes to three departments, including the capital, and forced the closing of La Aurora International Airport for five days. One person was killed, thousands were injured and $500 million in losses were reported. - Tico Times