Monday, June 04, 2018

Powerful Volcano Erupts in Guatemala Dozens Die

The death toll is mounting after an explosive eruption of one of Central America's most active volcanoes. Guatemala's Volcan de Fuego, Spanish for "volcano of fire," exploded shortly before noon on Sunday, blasting ash and molten rock high into the air. Hours later, around 4 p.m., lava began flowing down the side of the mountain.

Guatemala's disaster agency said early Monday that at least 25 people had been killed as a towering cloud of smoke blanketed nearby villages in heavy ash and pyroclastic flows inundated villages below the volcano. An undetermined number of people were missing and authorities feared the death toll could rise.

Eddy Sanchez, director of the country's seismology and volcanology institute, said the lava flows reached temperatures of about 1,300 degrees. Firefighters said they were forced to call off rescue efforts until later on Monday morning over safety concerns.

Video broadcast by Sacatepezuez television showed a charred landscape where a lava flow came into contact with homes. Three bodies lay partially buried in ash and debris from the volcano, which is about 27 miles from the capital, Guatemala City.

Hundreds of rescue workers, including firefighters, police and soldiers worked to recover bodies from the still-smoking lava.

People flee as black cloud of volcanic ash towers above them

'A village has disappeared': Drone shows aftermath of Fuego eruption in Guatemala

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