Death Toll Climbs From Volcano’s Explosions Of Ash, Molten Rock In Guatemala

Death Toll Climbs From Volcano’s Explosions Of Ash, Molten Rock In Guatemala

A search was underway for the missing, though first responders efforts were hindered by the lava flow, officials said. "We are evacuating and rescuing people and have reports of 20 wounded six dead and disappeared".

Cabanas said one of those killed was a CONRED employee.

Guatemala's airport in the capital city has closed down while many villagers are being evacuated.

The conical Volcan de Fuego reaches an altitude of 12,346ft (3,763 meters) above sea level at its peak. Other videos from local media showed residents walking barefoot and covered in muddy residue. Another victim was found in the streets of El Rodeo by volunteer firefighters, but the person died in an ambulance. "I think they ended up buried", Consuelo Hernandez, a resident of the village of El Rodeo, told the newspaper Diario de Centroamerica.

"We saw the lava was pouring through the corn fields and we ran towards a hill".

Ash fell on the Guatemala City area as well as the departments of Sacatepequez, Chimaltenango and Escuintla, which are in south-central Guatemala around the volcano.

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The eruption forced Guatemala City's La Aurora worldwide 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.

The Guatemalan military said it was providing assistance including clearing volcanic ash from the airport's runway. Streets and houses were covered in the colonial town of Antigua.

Video footage showed a black cloud of ash rising from just beyond the golf club. "This is an bad 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".

Officials have advised citizens to wear masks due to falling ash, which has been raining down in four of Guatemala's administrative regions.

Eddy Sanchez, director of the country's seismology and volcanology institute, said the flows reached temperatures of about 700 C.

Disaster agency spokesman David de Leon says about 300 people have been evacuated from nearby villages, which are being blanketed by ash as fiery smoke billows almost four miles into the sky.

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