"It's a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the El Rodeo village".
An employee sweeps the entrance of a gas station covered with ash after Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted violently, in Guatemala City, Guatemala June 3, 2018. Video images published by Sacatepezuez television showed a charred landscape where a lava flow came into contact with homes.
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. "I think they ended up buried", Consuelo Hernandez, a resident of the village of El Rodeo, told the newspaper Diario de Centroamerica. A massive stream of lava could also be seen running through the region.
Leading officials in Guatemala insisted tolls of both injured and dead could rise.
The conical Volcan de Fuego reaches an altitude of 12,346 feet above sea level at its peak. Another victim was found in the street by volunteer firefighters but died in an ambulance. Local media reported that the ash blanketed cars and houses in villages nearby.
Ash was falling on the Guatemala City area as well as the areas of Sacatepequez, Chimaltenango and Escuintla, which are in south-central Guatemala around the volcano.
"We have shut it down as a precautionary measure for the planes because the volcanic ash is harmful to the turbines", the airport spokesman, Francis Argueta said. Streets and houses were covered in the colonial town of Antigua.
Workers and guests were evacuated from the La Reunion golf club near Antigua.
Video footage showed a black cloud of ash rising from just beyond the golf club.
The Central American nation's disaster agency declared 3,100 people had desperately fled from nearby communities.
Explosions are still coming from the volcano, said Eddy Sánchez, director of the National Institute for Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology of Guatemala known as INSIVUMEH.
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