Published: Mon, June 04, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupts, several killed, hundreds injured

Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupts, several killed, hundreds injured

One of Central America's most active volcanos erupted in fiery explosions of ash and molten rock Sunday.

Flows of lava have reportedly struck at least one village, causing deaths and injuries.

Officials fear more people may be dead or injured.

The volcano, about 40km south-west of the capital Guatemala City, has been spewing black smoke and ash into the sky.

Volcanic ash covers parked motorcycles, brought by the Fuego Volcano, in Antigua Guatemala. "There are injured, burned and dead people".

After awakening on Sunday, and for the second time this year, the Volcan de Fuego (Volcano of Fire) has generated strong pyroclastic flows in the Barrancas de Cenizas, Mineral, Seca, Taniluya, Las Lajas and Barranca Honda localities, the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction in Guatemala (Conred) said.

"It's a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the Rodeo village".

Three bodies lay partially buried in ash-colored debris from the volcano, which lies about 27 miles (44 kilometers) from Guatemala City.

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The conical Volcan de Fuego reaches an altitude of 3,763 metres above sea level at its peak. Lesser amounts of ash reached the capital of Guatemala City some 25 miles away, forcing the closure of its global airport, CONRED said. The news outlet also said the Guatemalan military was providing help which includes clearing volcanic ash from La Aurora airport's runway.

It is the second time the volcano has erupted this year, setting off loud explosions and spewing ash almost four miles into the sky.

Workers and guests were evacuated from the La Reunion golf club near Antigua.

Photos from the scene showed massive plumes of black smoke in the air.

Eddy Sanchez, director of the country's seismology and volcanology institute, said the flows reached temperatures of about 700 C.

Guatemala's disaster agency said 3,100 people had evacuated nearby communities, and ash fall from the eruption was affecting an area with a population of about 1.7 million of the country's 15 million or so people. About four hours later, lava began flowing down the side of the mountain.

BBC News reports officials advised residents to wear masks as ash fell.

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