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Volcano cancels classes for CFCA children

May 28, 2010

SAN LUCAS TOLIMAN, Guatemala — Activity from the Pacaya volcano, about 15 miles south of Guatemala City, caused school to be canceled indefinitely for about 6,000 CFCA-sponsored children in the state of Guatemala.

The children are from three CFCA communities: San Gaspar Centro (SGC), San Gaspar Norte (SGN) and San Gaspar Mixco (SGM), said Luis CoCón, of CFCA’s communications center in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala.

The volcano tossed rocks that killed three people, including one journalist, and covered the capital with 3 inches of ash Thursday. No sponsored members or their families were believed to have been harmed, CoCón said, although the status of one family living near the base of the volcano was unknown.

Authorities also suspended school in the states of Escuintla and Sacatepéquez and closed the La Aurora International Airport in the capital. Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom declared a state of calamity in the states of Guatemala and Escuintla, and hundreds were evacuated from nearby villages.

CoCón said heavy rains following the eruption coated the surrounding area with thick mud, which is making travel and cleanup difficult. Authorities are cautioning residents to stay home.

CoCón reported that the Pacaya volcano erupted again at 11 a.m. Central time today. The eruption was not as strong as Thursday’s, but the volcano is spewing more ash. Various sectors of the capital have been without electricity since Thursday evening and some electrical lines have collapsed.

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