Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

6 people killed by erupting volcano in Guatemala

6 people killed by erupting volcano in Guatemala

Some ash also has fallen on the capital.

Guatemala City's global airport was closed due to the danger to planes. The airport reopened for private flights on Monday morning.

The Fuego Volcano in eruption, seen from Alotenango municipality, Sacatepequez department, about 65 kilometres southwest of Guatemala City, on June 3, 2018. The volcanic activity increased at around 3:30 p.m., with rocks, ash, sand and lava being launched into the air, according to el Periodico.

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

Later, 18 bodies are said to have been found in the village of San Miguel Los Lotes. Local media reported that almost 200 people remain missing.

The suspension of rescue efforts around the volcano may be lifted if conditions on the ground improve, CONRED said. Two children were burned to death as they watched the volcano's second eruption this year from a bridge, he added.

Four people, including an officer of the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conred), died in a house while trying to evacuate, while the other three died of severe burns in the Las Lajas ravine.

Ash fell Sunday on Guatemala City as well as nearby areas.

"That could cause more mud flows and nearby rivers to burst their banks". Inhaling ash or hot volcanic gases can asphyxiate people quickly. Molten rock rushed down the mountainside and engulfed villages. The lava river was running on the other side of the volcano. "We didn't believe it, and when we went out the hot mud was already coming down the street". Lopez said she still does not know where her mother or sister are.

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A group of residents arrived at the scene of the lava flow Monday with shovels and work boots to help the search for survivors and victims.

Israel will coordinate further needs with Guatemalan authorities, he said.

The country's disaster agency "never told us to leave. I think they ended up buried", Consuelo Hernandez, a resident of the village of El Rodeo, told Diario de Centroamerica. "The government is good at stealing, but when it comes to helping people they lack spark".

Video images published by Sacatepezuez television showed a charred landscape where a lava flow came into contact with homes. Meanwhile, the airport in Guatemala City remains closed.

The new eruption spread panic as residents fled areas that had not been under evacuation warnings.

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

Firefighters said late Sunday that they had seen some people who were trapped in the area, but roads leading there were cut by pyroclastic flows and they had been unable to reach them.

In the Guatemalan village of El Rodeo, heavily armed soldiers wearing blue masks to ward off the dust are standing guard over a community hit by a volcanic eruption that has killed at least 25.

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