Guatemala: 25 killed, almost 3,100 evacuated as Fuego volcano erupts

Hugh Fox
June 4, 2018

At least six people were killed when Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted Sunday, belching ash and rock and forcing the airport to close.

"There are injured, burned and dead people", said Sergio Cabanas, general secretary of Guatemala's CONRED disaster management agency.

People flee El Rodeo village, Escuintla department, 20 miles south of Guatemala City, after the eruption of the Fuego Volcano on Sunday.

"Not everyone escaped, I think they were buried", Survivor Consuelo Hernandez said.

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Pictures from the National Disaster Relief Agency of Guatemala show ash clouds pluming from Fuego volcano and the devastating aftermath of the Guatemalan volcano. Images in the news media and on social media showed people and villages caked in ash.

The eruption is estimated to affect about 1.7 million people, according to officials, with most living in the colonial city of Antigua and nearby Guatemala City, the country's capital.

A volcano southwest of Guatemala's capital has erupted for the second time this year, setting off loud explosions and spewing ash almost four miles into the sky.

The volcanic eruption spewed a river of red, hot lava and belched thick clouds of smoke almost six miles into the air, according to the CONRED, the government's national coordinator for disaster reduction. "That could cause more mud flows and nearby rivers to burst their banks", said Eddy Sanchez, director of Guatemala's seismological, volcanic and meteorological institute. A massive stream of lava could also be seen running through the region.

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It was the 3,763-metre volcano's second eruption this year.

So far, 15 people been have been hospitalised, including 12 children, some of whom suffered severe burns, according to the Health Ministry.

The runway was closed due to the presence of volcanic ash and in order to guarantee passenger and aircraft safety, Guatemala's civil aviation authority said in a tweet.

Almost 3,100 people have been evacuated from the affected area, the country's disaster management agency said.

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Disaster agency spokesman David de Leon said today the bodies were found in the community of San Miguel Los Lotes.

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