Thousands have been urged to evacuate after an increased eruption of Guatemala's 12,300ft 'Volcano of Fire'. Images captured overnight show huge amounts of lava and ash spewing out

Thousands have been urged to evacuate after an increased eruption of Guatemala's 12,300ft 'Volcano of Fire'. Images captured overnight show huge amounts of lava and ash spewing out
Thousands of people have been urged to evacuate after an increased eruption of Guatemala's 12,300ft 'Volcano of Fire'.

Dramatic pictures show glowing lava spewing from the summit of the volcano, located among the departments of Escuintla, Chimaltenango and Sacatepéquez in the south-central part of the country.

Disaster coordination authorities have asked ten communities to evacuate and go to safe areas.

This morning, David de Leon, spokesman for the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction, said monitoring of the volcano's activity yesterday showed the intensity of the eruption was being maintained.

It comes just months after a previous eruption of the 'Volcan de Fuego' killed 194 people and left 234 missing.

However, aid groups helping badly hit areas insist the true number of those still unaccounted for after the disaster in June runs in to the thousands.

At the time, searing flows of lava, ash and rock mixed with water and debris gushed down the volcano's flanks, blocking roads and burning homes.

Fast-moving pyroclastic flows overtook people in homes and streets with temperatures reaching as high as 700C (1,300F), and hot ash and volcanic gases that can cause rapid asphyxiation.

The volcano, one of the most active in Central America, spewed more ash and lava in October, prompting warnings for nearby communities.

Fuego has been erupting since 2002, and was continuously active in 2017.

Long lens cameras were used to capture these images from Alotenango, a municipality in Sacatepequez department, southwest of Guatemala City

Long lens cameras were used to capture these images from Alotenango, a municipality in Sacatepequez department, southwest of Guatemala City