We are all in awe when we see the impressive images as the Volcan del Fuego in Guatemala erupts suddenly. The images are stunning, and the suffering they inflict on poor people is heartbreaking. This massive volcano is located very close to the city of Antigua Guatemala. Antigua Guatemala is no stranger to the disasters caused by the Volcan del Fuego. Disaster wreaked havoc in Antigua Guatemala in 1773 when the tremors related to an eruption destroyed a good part of the city. The Spanish Crown ordered the closure of the city and built the new capital where it stands today.
The sudden eruption that began yesterday has largely left Antigua Guatemala untouched. The pyroclastic and lava flow was on the opposite side of the volcano. However ash has fallen on all the city of Antigua. Being that we are in the beginning of the rainy season in Central America, there is a risk of floods. In addition, ash on the rooftops will solidify when mixed with rain, meaning that extra weight on roofs could make them collapse. Unfortunately, there is no way of predicting when the current eruptions will end.
Alternatives to Travel to and from Guatemala City
Travel in and out of Guatemala City has gotten complicated. La Aurora International Airport in the city has been closed because of ash. Our sincere condolences go out to the people of Guatemala. We hope that this natural disaster ends soon, and that the death count does not rise much more.
From Honduras, we can report that all four international airports in the country are open and functioning normally. If you are in Guatemala and need to get back home, or abroad and need to get to Guatemala, you can consider using the San Pedro Sula International Airport as an alternative. From San Pedro Sula, there are several bus companies that provide service to Guatemala City. I recommend using Hedman Alas that has a luxury bus service daily between San Pedro Sula and Guatemala City.
We will be following reports about the Volcan del Fuego closely. We hope the eruption comes to an end as quickly as it started and that things get better fast for those affected in Guatemala.