Death toll climbs from volcano's explosions of ash, molten rock in Guatemala

04 June, 2018, 14:14 | Author: Carlos George
  • Guatemala's Fuego volcano eruption has claimed lives

At least six people were killed when Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted Sunday, belching ash and rock and forcing the airport to close.

"Where we saw the lava fall, we ran to a hillside" to escape, she added.

The Guatemalan government has advised people to stay away from the affected areas and wear protective masks to prevent inhaling poisonous smoke and falling ash.

Rescue operations were suspended until 5 am local time (4.30 pm Indian time) on Sunday because of risky conditions and inclement weather, a spokesman for the municipal firefighters department said.

David de Leon, spokesman for the National Disaster Prevention Authority, said about 300 people from areas near Fuego have been evacuated.

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

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.

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This Handout picture released by the National Disaster Relief Agency of Guatemala shows Volcano Fuego during an eruptive pulse in El Rodeo, Guatemala on June 3, 2018.

Volcan de Fuego, Spanish for "volcano of fire", exploded shortly after noon on Sunday. Three bodies lay partially buried in ash-colored debris from the volcano, which lies about 27 miles (44 kilometres) west of Guatemala City.

Israel says it has delivered food, blankets and medicine to Guatemala after a volcano erupted there, killing at least 25 people.

"Unfortunately El Rodeo was buried and we haven't been able to reach the La Libertad village because of the lava and maybe there are people that died there too", said CONRED's Cabanas.

Ash has effected not only Guatemala City but the departments of Sacatepequez, Chimaltenango, Escuintla, and the popular tourist destination colonial town Antigua.

Aviation authorities there closed the worldwide airport due to the potential danger to planes by the ash, the AP reported.

The conical Volcan de Fuego is 12,346 feet above sea level at its peak.

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