(ReliableNews.org) – Volcán de Fuego is located in Guatemala and is considered one of the most active volcanoes in Central America. It measures over 3,700 meters high and is one of three stratovolcanoes that overlooks Antiga. According to Oregon State University, there have been more than 60 recorded eruptions from Fuego since 1524, which have led to many tragic deaths.
On February 2, Newsweek shared a video shot by mountain tour guide Chino Aventuras. He was leading a group up the mountain when he captured a rare sight on film — volcanic lightning in the pillar of smoke coming out of Fuego’s top. The outlet called the event caught on camera extremely rare. Aventuras spoke to Newsweek and said “this was one of the biggest I (sic) ever seen in 10 years.”
A tour guide on Volcán de Fuego in Guatemala captured a volcanic lightning storm. https://t.co/rqIDo5uMot
— PetaPixel (@petapixel) January 30, 2023
Scientists aren’t exactly sure what causes volcanic lightning, but there’s one thing they can all agree on: the light show starts when particles separate. The separation happens after either a large particle splits into two or when a pair runs into one another. Either way, the lightning occurs when there is an electrical flow between positively and negatively-charged particles.
According to Smithsonian Magazine, volcanoes like Fuego are comprised from layers of ash and lava from previous eruptions and typically have clogs that lead to spectacular and sometimes deadly explosions. In 2018, Fuego erupted, sending ash clouds tens of thousands of feet in the air, causing shards of rocks to rain down.
Newsweek put the death toll from the blast at about 200. Hundreds more suffered injuries and about two million people were affected overall — and that was just one event. Smithsonian reported there were more than six eruptions from the volcano just one year before, in 2017. As for the beautiful volcanic lightning, reports say there have been about 200 documented cases in the past two centuries.
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