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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-05-10 05:38 AM
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Guatemala warns citizens against volcanic air pollution
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Guatemala warns citizens against volcanic air pollution
10:17, June 04, 2010

The Guatemalan government's National Disaster Reduction Coordinator (Conred) warned citizens on Thursday that their health is at risk from persistent dust caused by the eruption of the Pacaya Volcano two weeks ago.

Pacaya, 40 kilometers south of Guatemala City, erupted on Thursday, spewing ash and dust into Guatemala City and closing the country's international airport, two days before the Tropical Storm Agatha ploughed into Guatemala and killed 156 people.

"The thick fog that has been observed in recent days continues to contain solid particles of volcanic sand," Conred said in a statement published on its website.

"Potential damages include chemically induced pneumonia, especially on the patients of asthma; conjunctivitis and eye irritation, mostly for contact lens users; and dermatitis and gastroenteritis," said the statement.

The agency also alerted local people to prepare for sudden surges in water volume because the sand produced by the volcano may be damaging the city's waste water systems.

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