Nov. 19 (UPI) -- The eruption of a volcano in Guatemala forced thousands to evacuate Monday, amid concerns that ash, lava and hot gases could reign down on surrounding villages.
Video footage of the Volcan de Fuego, or Volcano of Fire, showed it spewing lava in the Escuintla, Chimaltenango, region of Guatemala.
As many as 2,000 have been urged to evacuate, though it's up to each village to decide whether to flee.
Ash from the volcano could shoot up as high as 17,000 feet and travel as far as 18 miles to the southwest based on wind conditions, experts said.
The 12,300-foot volcano is one of the most active in South America.
"The lava flow has a length of 2,500 meters in the direction of the Ceniza Canyon," the government said in a statement.
Guatemala is setting up tents at a nearby stadium to accommodate evacuees. One village, Panimache II, is at the foot of the volcano and chose to evacuate women first. The government warned of "abundant fall of ash particles" in that area.
Several roads have been closed in low-lying areas where lava could flow.
"You should not stay near or inside the ravines where volcanic products descend," the government statement added.
Nearly 200 people died when the same volcano erupted in June. Several hundred more went missing, though relief agencies estimate the true number could've been much higher.