Guatemala Volcano Eruption Kills 7; 1.7 Million Affected

07 June, 2018, 13:15 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Massive volcano in Guatemala kills dozens, injures hundreds

Volcan de Fuego is located near Antigua, a city popular with tourists for its 16th-century buildings and monuments.

A vehicle is partially covered with ash after Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted violently, in Guatemala City, Guatemala June 3, 2018.

Volcán de Fuego is a stratovolcano, meaning its 12,346-foot-tall (3,763 meters), mountainous peak is made up of layers of lava, volcanic rock fragments called tephra and pyroclastic flows-a dense mix of ash, lava fragments and gases that rocket out of volcanoes at high speeds.

At least 25 people were killed when a volcano erupted in Guatemala, sending lava flowing into villages, and leaving homes and roads blanketed with ash.

The Volcan de Fuego, Spanish for "volcano of fire", exploded in a hail of ash and molten rock shortly before noon Sunday, blanketing nearby villages in heavy ash. Three bodies lay partially buried in ash-coloured debris from the volcano, which lies about 44 kilometres from Guatemala City.

Local television footage showed mourners walking through the streets, caskets hoisted on their shoulders.

The Sunday eruption marked the second time this year that the mountain erupted, spewing hot lava spilling down the sides and sending thick smoke billowing nearly six miles into the air.

President Jimmy Morales is considering declaring a state of emergency.

The eruption has also affected 1.7 million people and forced another 3,000 to be evicted from their homes.




Among the dead were two children who burned to death as they stood on a bridge watching the volcano erupt, the AP reported.

A disaster authority spokesman said a change in wind direction was to blame for the volcanic ash falling on parts of the capital.

Aviation authorities closed the capital's global airport because of the danger posed to planes by the ash.

Soldiers and firefighters are working together to find missing people and retrieve bodies.

More than 3,000 people have been evacuated away from these areas, which may extend further should any more activity occur.

The eruption forced Guatemala City's La Aurora global airport to shut down its only runway due to the presence of volcanic ash and to guarantee passenger and aircraft safety, Guatemala's civil aviation authority said on Twitter.

Garcia said that the El Rodeo village in the southern department of Escuintla is practically buried under lava, adding that the scene is “quite delicate” as the lava flow hinders authorities from getting into the area.

However, Volcán de Fuego has erupted continuously since 1999, and it commonly has dozens of small explosive eruptions every day, according to the Guatemalan government.

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