Guatemala volcano erupts, killing children as lava spews into village

Around four hours after the explosion lava flows reaching temperatures of about 1,300degrees Fahrenheit, cascaded down the mountain, according to ABC.

The strong eruption was the second major one this year.

Hundreds of rescue workers, including firefighters, police and soldiers, worked to help any survivors and recover any more bodies amid the still-smoking lava.

The river of lava has reportedly changed direction and is now heading toward a small town.

Amid darkness and rain, the rescue effort was suspended until early morning, municipal firefighters' spokesman Cecilio Chacaj said.

Fuego is located 25miles from the nation's capital, Guatemala City.

The eruption has already killed seven, according to National Disaster Coordinator Sergio Cabanas, who added that an undetermined number of people are missing. Officials said the dead were so far all concentrated in three towns: El Rodeo, Alotenango and San Miguel los Lotes.

The National Disaster Management Agency (Conred) said a river of lava hit the village of El Rodeo, destroying houses and burning people inside.


"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", said CONRED's Cabanas. Shelters were opened for those forced to flee.

"Currently the volcano continues to erupt and there exists a high potential for (pyroclastic) avalanches of debris", the disaster agency said late Sunday via Twitter, quoting Sanchez, the director of the seismology and volcanology institute.

It added that he said authorities began to send bulletins on the situation starting at 11:30 a.m.

The president said he and his government would determine whether to ask Congress to declare a state of emergency in the areas, while at the same time appealing to the population for calm.

A man cleans ashes from the Volcan de Fuego off his vehicle in Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez department, southwest of Guatemala City on Sun., June 3, 2018.

Dense ash blasted out by the volcano shut down Guatemala City's worldwide airport, civil aviation said.

The volcano is some 25 miles (40 km) southwest of the capital, Guatemala City, and is close to the colonial city of Antigua, which is popular with tourists and is known for its coffee plantations.

The volcano's peak soars 3,763 meters above sea level.

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