Guatemala volcano eruption: At least 7 killed, 20 hurt

04 June, 2018, 08:21 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Guatemala's Fuego volcano eruption has claimed lives

Authorities have confirmed that at least seven people were killed and over 300 injured.

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

Firefighters in Guatemala say some people have been trapped by a deadly volcanic eruption but they have been forced to call off rescue efforts until morning over safety concerns.

The volcano spewed black smoke and ash into the sky, prompting the evacuation of some 100 people and forcing the capital's La Aurora global airport to shut down its only runway.

Volcanic ash covers parked motorcycles, brought by the Fuego Volcano, in Antigua Guatemala.

"People have been injured, burned and killed".

"It's a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the Rodeo village", said Sergio Cabanas, the general secretary of Guatemala's Conred disaster agency, according to Reuters.

There were no immediate reports of any casualties, but authorities are advising those close to the crater to evacuate the area.

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Ash has effected not only Guatemala City but the departments of Sacatepequez, Chimaltenango, Escuintla, and the popular tourist destination colonial town Antigua. Lesser amounts of ash reached the capital of Guatemala City some 25 miles away, forcing the closure of its worldwide airport, CONRED said.

The volcano's peak soars 3,763 meters above sea level.

The runway was closed due to the presence of volcanic ash, Guatemala's civil aviation authority said in a tweet.

This is the second time the volcano has erupted this year.

Explosions are still coming from the volcano, said Eddy Sánchez, director of the National Institute for Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology of Guatemala known as INSIVUMEH.

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.

The river of lava has reportedly changed direction and is now heading toward a small town.

The huge plumes of smoke that could be seen from various parts of the country and the ash that rained down in four of Guatemala's departments caused some alarm among residents.

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