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At least 65 killed as Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupts

07 June, 2018, 13:15 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Guatemala's Fuego volcano eruption has claimed lives

Motorcycles are covered in ash from the Fuego Volcano in Antigua, Guatemala.

In addition to the damage in Antigua, ash also made it as far south as the capital city, Guatemala City, located approximately 25 miles from the site of the eruption.

Fuego is one of Central America's most active volcanos.

The charred landscape left behind by Guatemala's erupting Volcano of Fire was still too hot in many places Monday to pull out bodies so thickly coated with ash that they looked like statues as the death toll rose to 62 and was expected to go higher.

Firefighters in Guatemala said there were reports of some people being trapped by the deadly eruption, but they have been forced to call off rescue efforts until morning for safety concerns.

Video on social media from Sunday shows lava and smoke billowing from the volcano.

Volcan de Fuego, whose name means "Volcano of Fire", spewed an 8-kilometer (5-mile) stream of red hot lava and belched a thick plume of black smoke and ash that rained onto the capital and other regions.

In another video, a visibly exhausted woman, her face blackened from ash, said she had narrowly escaped as lava poured through corn fields.

Disaster agency spokesman David de Leon says about 300 people have been evacuated from nearby villages, which are being blanketed by ash as fiery smoke billows almost four miles into the sky.

The BBC reported that the head of the country's National Disaster Management Agency (Conred), Sergio Cabañas said that the town of El Rodeo had been "buried".

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The agency says in addition that 46 people were injured.

"All our solidarity and support to the President Jimmy Morales and the Guatemalan people for the loss of human life after the eruption of the volcano of Fire".

There are also "missing persons, but we do not know how many", Cabanas said, adding that lava had blocked entry to several communities.

Guatemala City's global airport has re-opened after it was closed by falling ash from the eruption.

Dense ash blasted out by the volcano - which rises to 3,763 meters (12,346 feet) - also shut down Guatemala City's global airport, civil aviation said.

Hundreds of firefighters, police and soldiers are searching for the missing amid the still-smoking lava.

"We have shut it down as a precautionary measure for the planes because the volcanic ash is harmful to the turbines", the airport spokesman, Francis Argueta said.

Sunday marked the second eruption this year for the 3,763-metre volcano.

He said on radio a river of lava has overwhelmed a village.

He warned of mudslides as rainfall continues, and urged people to stay off roads close to the volcano.

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