Lava from Guatemala volcano kills at least 7

Larry Hoffman
June 4, 2018

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. Three bodies lay partially buried in ash-colored debris from the volcano, which lies about 45 kilometres from Guatemala City.

At least seven people have been killed and 20 more injured by Sunday's eruption of the Volcan de Fuego, which lies about 27 miles (44 kilometers) southwest of Guatemala City.

The head of the National Disaster Prevention Authority Sergio Cabañas told a local radio station that a river of lava had changed course towards a small town.

Officials said the dead were so far all concentrated in three towns: El Rodeo, Alotenango and San Miguel los Lotes. In darkness and rain, the rescue effort was ordered suspended until early morning, municipal firefighters spokesman Cecilio Chacaj said. Another victim was found in the streets of El Rodeo by volunteer firefighters, but the person died in an ambulance.

She said: "Not everyone escaped, I think they were buried". "Evacuations and searches are under way", he said, quoted by Reuters.

President Jimmy Morales informed that a national emergency response team has been activated.

A total of about a million people have been affected by the eruption, the Guatemalan government says. The International Airport La Aurora closed its runway due to the volcanic ash as a precautionary measure.

At least seven people were killed and many more injured in the eruption of Volcan de Fuego, near Guatemala City.

Ash was falling on the Guatemala City area as well as the areas of Sacatepequez, Chimaltenango and Escuintla, which are in south-central Guatemala around the volcano.

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

The conical Volcan de Fuego reaches an altitude of 12,346ft (3,763 meters) above sea level at its peak.

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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