'River of lava' flows into Guatemala village killing several people

Glen Norman
June 4, 2018

One village was extremely affected by running lava causing deaths and injuries.

The head of the National Disaster Prevention Authority Sergio Cabañas said: "People have been injured, burned and killed".

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. Fuego is one of three active volcanos in Guatemala.

Fuego volcano, whose name means "fire" in English, spewed an 8 km stream of red hot lava and belched a thick plume of black smoke and ash that rained onto the capital and other regions.

Around 3,100 people have been evacuated from nearby communities into shelters.

Officials said the dead were so far all concentrated in three towns: El Rodeo, Alotenango and San Miguel los Lotes. "I think they ended up buried", Consuelo Hernandez, a resident of the village of El Rodeo, told the newspaper Diario de Centroamerica. 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 street by volunteer firefighters but died in an ambulance. About four hours later, lava began flowing down the side of the mountain.

President Jimmy Morales informed that a national emergency response team has been activated. "Evacuations and searches are under way", he said, quoted by Reuters.

The eruption affects an area home to 1.7million people.

An employee sweeps the entrance of a gas station covered with ash after Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted violently, in Guatemala City, Guatemala June 3, 2018.

The volcano's peak soars 3,763 meters above sea level. Streets and houses were covered in the colonial town of Antigua, a popular tourist destination.

The Guatemalan military said it was providing assistance including clearing volcanic ash from La Aurora airport's runway.

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

David de León, spokesman for the disaster agency, said about 300 people had evacuated the area around the volcano.

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