35,000 evacuated due to volcano near Antigua

Guatemalan volcano has erupted 5 other times this year

ANTIGUA, Guatemala | September 14, 2012

"It's a very active volcano"

—Vinicio Sarazua Santillan

Officials evacuated 35,000 people in Guatemala when a volcano near Antigua began spewing ash, it's largest eruption of the year, the Red Cross said.

The Volcan de Fuego, or the Fire Volcano, erupted five other times this year though Thursday's activity was the biggest.

"It's a very active volcano," Red Cross spokesman Vinicio Sarazua Santillan told CNN.

Residents living within 12 miles of the volcano were evacuated by bus and private car. Most were staying with friends and families and the rest were taken to 10 shelters capable of housing 200 people each, said Carmen Maria Caballero of the Guatemalan Red Cross.

One person was hospitalized in critical condition after the eruption while several others were treated at mobile health centers for respiratory problems, CNN reported. Ash fell in areas as far as 25 miles away from the 12,345-foot volcano.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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