Big volcanic eruptions in Guatemala, Ecuador
An American Airlines jet sits on the tarmac covered with ash from the eruption of the Pacaya Volcano at the international airport in Guatemala City on Friday.
Jose Luis Pos / AP
By JUAN CARLOS LLORCA
Associated Press Writer
updated 8:13 p.m. ET May 28, 2010
GUATEMALA CITY - Explosive eruptions shook two huge volcanos in Central and South America on Friday, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes and disrupting air traffic as ash drifted over major cities.
Guatemala's Pacaya volcano started erupting lava and rocks Thursday afternoon, blanketing the country's capital with ash and forcing the closure of the international airport. A television reporter was killed by a shower of burning rocks when he got too close to the volcano, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of Guatemala City.
In the village of Calderas, close to the eruption, Brenda Castaneda said she and her family hid under beds and tables as marble-sized rocks thundered down on her home.