Guatemala volcano: Several dead as Fuego volcano erupts

Guatemala volcano: Several dead as Fuego volcano erupts

Guatemala volcano: Several dead as Fuego volcano erupts

At least six people were killed and another 20 injured on Sunday when Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted violently, spewing a stream of red hot lava and belching a thick plume of black smoke and ash that rained onto the capital and other regions. Authorities feared the toll could rise as many people were missing after the sudden eruption. Then it began sending lava flows down the mountain's flank and across homes and roads around 4 p.m. Four people died as their house was set on fire and two children died watching the eruption from a nearby bridge.

Around 3,100 people have been evacuated from nearby communities into shelters.

Residents living near the volcano were urged to evacuate immediately, and some in the states of Chimaltenango, Sacatepequez and Escuintla were warned to watch out for volcanic rocks and ash.

This Handout picture released by the National Disaster Relief Agency of Guatemala shows Volcano Fuego during an eruptive pulse in El Rodeo, Guatemala on June 3, 2018.

"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.

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.

Most of the victims reported initially were from the village of El Rodeo, according to Guatemala's El Periódico newspaper.

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At least 18 bodies were discovered in San Miguel Los Lotes, a disaster official told AP.

It is close to the popular tourist destination Antigua, which is known for its coffee plantations.

The International Airport La Aurora closed its runway due to the volcanic ash as a precautionary measure.

President Jimmy Morales was to hold a news conference late Sunday, while officials were telling residents in the area to remain calm.

The conical Volcan de Fuego is 12,346 feet above sea level at its peak.

"Currently the volcano continues to erupt and there exists a high potential for (pyroclastic) avalanches of debris", the disaster agency said via Twitter, quoting Sanchez, the director of the seismology and volcanology institute.

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