At Least 25 Dead & Nearly 300 Injured Following Volcano Eruption In Guatemala

One of Central America's most active volcanos erupted in fiery explosions of ash and molten rock Sunday killing people

At Least 25 Dead & Nearly 300 Injured Following Volcano Eruption In Guatemala

Hilda Lopez said the volcanic mud swept into her village of San Miguel Los Lotes, just below the mountain's flanks, and she didn't know where her mother and sister were.

He declared a red alert for Escuintla, Chimaltenango and Sacatepequez, the areas most affected by the eruption, and an orange alert throughout the rest of the country.

"The toll was 25 dead as of 9:00 pm (0300 GMT)", the spokesman for the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) said in a WhatsApp group.

Workers were cleaning ash off the runways to get the airport operating again.

"The landscape on the volcano is totally changed, everything is totally destroyed", government volcanologist Gustavo Chigna said on local radio.

The charred bodies of victims laid on the steaming, ashen remnants of a pyroclastic flow as rescuers attended to badly injured victims.

Fuego volcano is seen after a violent eruption, in San Juan Alotenango, Guatemala June 3, 2018.

Authorities fear the death toll could rise further because many people are unaccounted for. Evacuation orders were only given to some 3,000 of almost 1.7 million people in the surrounding villages. The bodies were recovered in the hamlets of Los Lotes and El Rodeo.

Rescue operations were suspended until 5:00 A.M. (1100 GMT) due to unsafe conditions and inclement weather, said Cecilio Chacaj, a spokesman for the municipal firefighters department. Local media reported that the ash blanketed cars and houses in villages nearby.

"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".

"We were at a party, celebrating the birth of a baby, when one of the neighbors shouted at us to come out and see the lava that was coming", the distraught woman said.

"Not everyone escaped, I think they were buried", Hernandez said in a video released by CONRED.

CONRED shared a photo showing the flows of gas and mud sweeping down a mountainside and across a broad valley, engulfing a small village.

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.

Israel's ties with Guatemala were significantly upgraded last month when the central American country became the second country to move its embassy to Jerusalem, two days after the USA inaugurated its own embassy in the city, answering a longstanding Israeli demand for recognition of the city as their capital.

Workers and guests were evacuated from the La Reunion golf club near Antigua. The lava river was running on the other side of the volcano. It was the country's most deadly volcanic event in more than a century. Inside the flow temperatures can vary from 200 to 700 degrees Celsius, offering little chance of escape to people in their way.

By Monday evening, the volcano's activity was lessening, and is expected to continue to diminish in the coming days, Eddy Sanchez, director of the seismological, volcanic and meteorological institute Insivumeh, told reporters.

People flee El Rodeo village, about 35 km south of Guatemala City, after the eruption.

The volcano expelled hot muddy material that caused the deaths, which included several children, in communities located on its southern slope, disaster agency spokesman David de Leon said.

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