Published: Tue, June 05, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Volcanic Eruption in Guatemala Kills Dozens

Volcanic Eruption in Guatemala Kills Dozens

The Fuego volcano in southern Guatemala erupted on Sunday, sending lava flows into nearby rural communities and spewing ash over people and towns.

Israel's ties with Guatemala were significantly upgraded last month when the central American country became the second country to move its embassy to Jerusalem, two days after the United States inaugurated its own embassy in the city, answering a longstanding Israeli demand for recognition of the city as their capital. Photos of the village show bodies partially buried in ash.

Unlike the Hawaii volcano, which has destroyed homes with slow-moving lava, the Fuego volcano unleashed fast-moving pyroclastic flow - a nasty mix of ash, rock and volcanic gases that can be much more risky than lava.

"We are evacuating and rescuing people and have reports of 20 wounded, six dead and disappeared", said Mr Cabanas.

President Jimmy Morales declared three days of national mourning for the "irreparable losses".

It is the country's largest eruption since 1902, when an eruption of the Santa Maria volcano killed thousands of civilians.

The death toll stood at 25 on Monday but was expected to rise, as authorities were unable to account for an unspecified number of people.

More than 3,100 villagers have been evacuated while search and rescue efforts continue as the eruption is expected to blight nearly two million people.

Fuego volcano is seen after a violent eruption, in San Juan Alotenango, Guatemala June 3, 2018.

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A river of lava destroyed homes and burnt people inside as the Fuego volcano pumped black smoke into skies southwest of Guatemala City this morning.

Volcanic ash has already stretched across a 12-mile radius, and winds could carry the cloud even farther, officials said.

"Villages are right on the foothills of the mountain", Cabrera said. "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.

Four people, including a disaster agency official, were killed when lava set a house on fire in El Rodeo village, Mr. Cabañas said, and two children were burned to death as they watched the volcano's second eruption this year from a bridge.

Volcan de Fuego, situated on the borders of Chimaltenango, Escuintla and Sacatepéquez, sent out an 8km stream of lava, with smoke and ash surrounding the area.

Drivers made their way through a light rain of volcanic ash in Guatemala City.

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

La Aurora airport in the country's capital of Guatemala City, was reportedly closed on Sunday due to the eruption, according to reports citing the Guatemalan Coordinating Agency for Disaster Reduction (CONRED).

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