Volcan de Pacaya in Guatemala • Earth.com

Last update: April 14th, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Volcan de Pacaya in Guatemala Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Volcan de Pacaya, located near Guatemala City.

The Central American country of Guatemala is home to 36 volcanoes, and Volcan de Pacaya is one of the most active.

According to NASA, Volcan de Pacaya in Guatemala the volcano has been fueling lava fountains and flows for several weeks, while spewing plumes into the air in what scientists refer to as strombolian activity. 

About 2.5 million people live within 20 miles of Pacaya. In early March, most residents living close to the volcano refused to evacuate the area.Pacaya is an active complex volcano in Guatemala, which first erupted approximately 23,000 years ago and has erupted at least 23 times since the Spanish conquest of Guatemala. It rises to an elevation of 2,552 metres (8,373 ft). After being dormant for over 70 years, it began erupting vigorously in 1961 and has been erupting frequently since then. Much of its activity is Strombolian, but occasional Plinian eruptions also occur, sometimes showering the area of the nearby Departments with ash. Pacaya is a popular tourist attraction. It is even the home to the popular Guatemala Impact Marathon which pioneered the use of a running route across the lava field created by the 2010 eruption and supports the local communities through runners endeavouring to complete the challenge. It lies 30 kilometers (19 miles) southwest of Guatemala City and close to Antigua. The volcano sits inside the Escuintla Department. Villagers near Pacaya ignored an evacuation request as the volcano threw ashes into the air in March 2021.

The false-color image was captured on March 29, 2021 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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