GUATEMALA (CBS) -- Guatemala has evacuated thousands of people after the Fuego volcano started spewing ash and lava.
Volcanologists said powerful eruptions were catapulting burning rocks as high as 3,280ft above the crater and lava was flowing down its slopes.
Local residents reported how the roaring of the volcano shook windows and roofs in nearby villages.
Experts say the eruption of the Fuego, 31 miles south-west of Guatemala City, is the biggest since 1999.
Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina said the eruption could affect people as far away as the capital.
"We will do the best we can to avoid people being harmed," he said.
Cars, lorries and buses covered in grey cash could be seen speeding away from the area towards Guatemala City.