Volcan de Fuego spews a thick cloud of ash as seen from Alotenango Guatemala
04 June, 2018, 08:17
Seven people have been killed and 20 hurt after a volcano near Guatemala City exploded in a fiery display of ash and lava. Video images published by Sacatepezuez television showed a charred landscape where a lava flow came into contact with homes.
Dozens of videos were popping up on social media and local TV, depicting the extent of devastation.
"It's a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the Rodeo village", said Sergio Cabanas, the general secretary of Guatemala's Conred disaster agency, according to Reuters. In darkness and rain, the rescue effort was ordered suspended until early morning, municipal firefighters spokesman Cecilio Chacaj said.
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.
"Not everyone escaped, I think they were buried", Consuelo Hernandez told local news outlet Diario de Centroamerica. "This is an terrible place to be, if you are ever around an erupting volcano like this and you see a cloud moving along the ground towards you, RUN".
The volcano is located about 25 miles south-west of the capital Guatemala City.
David de Leon, a CONRED spokesman, said a change in wind was to blame for the volcanic ash falling on parts of the capital.
Farmers covered in ash fled for their lives as civil defense staffers tried to relocate them to shelters during the event. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said he would issue a declaration of a state of emergency to be approved by Congress and urged people to heed warnings from emergency officials.
Three bodies lay partially buried in ash-colored debris from the volcano, which lies about 27 miles (44 kilometers) from Guatemala City.
The conical Volcan de Fuego reaches an altitude of 12,346ft (3,763 meters) above sea level at its peak. Lesser amounts of ash reached the capital of Guatemala City some 25 miles away, forcing the closure of its worldwide airport, CONRED said. Streets and houses were covered in the colonial town of Antigua, a popular tourist destination.
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