Guatemala’s Fuego volcano eruption kills 25, injures hundreds

Guatemala’s Fuego volcano eruption kills 25, injures hundreds

Guatemala’s Fuego volcano eruption kills 25, injures hundreds

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.

A river of lava spilled into El Rodeo village, destroying houses and burning people inside, according to the National Disaster Management Agency (Conred).

The president said he and his government would determine whether to ask Congress to declare a state of emergency in the areas, while at the same time appealing to the population for calm.

The eruption, the strongest recorded in several years, is now affecting the municipalities of Antigua Guatemala, Alotenango, San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Santa Catarina Barahona, Ciudad Vieja, San Miguel Dueñas, Acatenango, San Andres Itzapa, Patzicia, Saragoza, Patzún and Tecpán Guatemala.

The Volcan de Fuego, or "Volcano of Fire, " exploded in a hail of ash and molten rock shortly before noon, blanketing nearby villages in heavy ash.

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He said: "It was fine then, erupting as normal with lava flows but it was a lot worse today".

Twenty people had to be treated in hospital for burns including at least six children, the health ministry said.

"It's a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the Rodeo village".

The UK's Foreign Office has said that the main airport in Guatemala City, La Aurora, has been closed due to the falling ash from the volcanic eruption.

A woman covered in ash said lava poured through fields and she feared more had died. More are thought to be trapped inside.

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"Not everyone escaped, I think they were buried", Consuelo Hernandez told local news outlet Diario de Centroamerica in a video.

The volcano is located some 40 km southwest of the capital Guatemala City and is close to the colonial city of Antigua, popular with tourists and known for its coffee plantations.

Eddy Sanchez, director of the country's seismology and volcanology institute, said the flows reached temperatures of about 700 C.

BBC News reports officials advised residents to wear masks as ash fell.

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