disaster

Volcano Pacaya erupts, Guatemala

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A volcano has erupted in Guatemala, prompting the authorities to consider the evacuation of some 3,000 people living in the area. The Pacaya volcano began spewing ash and lava after a powerful explosion on Saturday afternoon. New explosions were seen on Sunday, with ash clouds reaching a height or at least 4km (3 miles).

The volcano is 2,500 meters (8,300 ft) tall.
The volcano is 2,500 meters (8,300 ft) tall.

Flights have been diverted from the area, some 50km (30 miles) south of the capital, Guatemala City.

The Pacaya is one of three active volcanoes in the Central American nation. The other two are the Fuego and the Santa Maria.

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Fukushima, evacuated residents to “come back home”

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Japan’s government is to allow some residents around the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to return to their homes to live for the first time since the March, 2011 disaster.

Tens of thousands of people were evacuated and a 20-kilometer (12-mile) exclusion zone declared around the plant after a devastating earthquake and tsunami triggered a reactor meltdown, the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986, causing high levels of radioactive contamination.

Once bustling communities in this pocket of eastern Japan were turned into ghost towns.

But on April 1, some 350 people from the Miyakoji district of Tamura city will be allowed to head back to their homes permanently, according to the country’s Reconstruction Agency. Some 31,000 people could eventually return home, it added.

The government says about 138,000 Fukushima residents are still living in temporary accommodation.