At least 25 killed as Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupts

At least 25 killed as Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupts

"It's a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the El Rodeo village", Sergio Cabanas, the general secretary of Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres, said on the radio, according to Reuters. The Volcano of Fire has erupted on and off for centuries, according to the USGS, and this is its second eruption this year.

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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. "I think they ended up buried", Consuelo Hernandez, a resident of the village of El Rodeo, told the newspaper Diario de Centroamerica.

The president has declared three days of national mourning.

Another 20 people have been injured, and more than 2,000 evacuated near the volcano and several cities, including Antigua.

More than 1.7 million people have been affected by the eruption as lava flows towards the capital, Guatemala City.

The country's national disaster agency reported at least 62 people have died since the volcano exploded Sunday.

Dead dogs, chickens and ducks also lay among the mud and ash, much of it still smoking.

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Earlier Tuesday, Guatemala began burying the few dead who could be identified after Sunday's cascade of lava, gas and rock fragments killed at least 72 people and covered nearby villages in thick layers of ash and mud.

Sacatepezuez television published images of a charred landscape where the lava came into contact with homes.

One of Central America's most active volcanoes, the conical Volcan de Fuego reaches an altitude of 3,763 metres above sea level at its peak.

View of the damage casued by the eruption of the Fuego Volcano in San Miguel Los Lotes, a village in Escuintla Department, about 35 km southwest of Guatemala City, on June 4, 2018.

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. Shelters were opened for those forced to flee.

A group of residents arrived at the scene of the lava flow Monday with shovels and work boots to help the search for survivors and victims.

The eruption of the volcano sent ash billowing over the surrounding area, turning plants and trees gray and blanketing streets, cars and people.

Apart from the Fuego volcano, there are two other active volcanos in Guatemala.

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