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Volcano lava river runs into Guatemala village, several killed

10 June 2018

At least six people have been killed in Guatemala as a volcano near the country's capital city has erupted for the second time this year.

Israeli trained first responders in Guatemala are also on their way to help after the Volcan de Fuego erupted on Sunday, spewing molten rock, ash and black smoke into the sky, in what is thought to be the worst eruption since 1974, according to local experts. Authorities have been unable to account for an undetermined number of people and say they fear the death toll could rise.

Fuego is one of three active volcanos in Guatemala.

Searing flows of ash mixed with water and debris down its flanks, blocking roads and burning homes.

Almost 300 people have been injured in what was the volcano's second eruption this year.

The volcano Fuego located almost 25 miles west of Guatemala City erupted on Sunday. All came from the hamlets of Los Lotes and El Rodeo, but only 13 had been identified so far because the flows that reached temperatures as high as 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit (700 Celsius) had so disfigured the bodies.

Reuters writes: "The charred bodies of victims laid on the steaming, ashen remnants of a pyroclastic flow as rescuers attended to badly injured victims".

The volcano, known to be one of Central America's most active, has destroyed homes and blanketed nearby villages in a cloud of heavy ash.

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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.

Dozens of videos were popping up on social media and local TV, depicting the extent of devastation.

"Not everyone was able to get out. I think they ended up buried", Consuelo Hernandez, a resident of the village of El Rodeo, told Diario de Centroamerica.

City workers sweep volcanic ash in Guatemala City. Some ash reached the capital of Guatemala City about 25 miles away, forcing the closure of its worldwide airport.

Relatives mourn as volunteers carry a coffin with the body of Sergio Vasquez who died following the eruption of Fuego volcano on June 3, 2018, to a morgue in Alotenango municipality. "[I escaped] because we saw the lava was pouring through the cornfields and we ran toward the hills".

This is Guatemala's deadliest such event since 1902, when an eruption of the Santa Maria volcano killed thousands of people.

Guatemala City's worldwide airport reopened Monday after it was closed by falling ash from the eruption.

President Jimmy Morales said he had convened his ministers and was considering declaring a state of emergency in the departments of Chimaltenango, Escuintla and Sacatepequez.

Volcano lava river runs into Guatemala village, several killed