Six dead or missing after Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupts

Hannah Rogers
June 4, 2018

The dead were from farming communities just south of the volcano who were trapped by hot lava flow, National Disaster Relief Agency spokesman David de Leon told reporters.

Villages in the Escuintla department were affected, too, CONRED Executive Secretary Sergio García Cabañas said.

Officials fear more people may be dead or injured.

Guatemala's Volcan de Fuego, Spanish for "volcano of fire", exploded shortly before noon.

"People have been injured, burned and killed".

After awakening on Sunday, and for the second time this year, the Volcan de Fuego (Volcano of Fire) has generated strong pyroclastic flows in the Barrancas de Cenizas, Mineral, Seca, Taniluya, Las Lajas and Barranca Honda localities, the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction in Guatemala (Conred) said.

The volcano spewed black smoke and ash into the sky, prompting the evacuation of some 100 people and forcing the capital's La Aurora global airport to shut down its only runway.

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The volcano is located about 25 miles south-west of the capital Guatemala City.

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

In another video, a visibly exhausted woman, her face blackened from ash, said she had narrowly escaped as lava poured through corn fields.

The eruption also forced the Guatemala City's La Aurora worldwide airport to shut down its only runway. Streets and houses were covered in the colonial town of Antigua. Locals, meanwhile, have shared dramatic photos and videos showing a massive ash column reaching to the sky. The news outlet also said the Guatemalan military was providing help which includes clearing volcanic ash from La Aurora airport's runway. The lava river was running on the other side of the volcano.

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.

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.

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