Guatemala's Volcan de Fuego Eruption Seen From Space

07 June, 2018, 06:04 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Six dead or missing after Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupts

The Fuego volcano erupted yesterday, sending lahars down the side of the mountain and huge plumes of ash into the air. Hundreds were injured and many are missing.

The toll from the eruption of a highly active volcano near Guatemala's capital has risen to 62, officials said.

The Fuego eruption has reportedly been the most violent in more than a century in Guatemala, killing at least 25 people, and injuring many more.

Shelters are housing 2,625 people, according to the national disaster agency known as Conred. Four other people were killed, including a disaster agency official, after a house caught fire from the lava.

The volcano expelled hot muddy material that caused the deaths - including of several children - in the El Rodeo and Las Lajas communities located on its southern slope, disaster agency spokesman David de Leon said in a WhatsApp group.

Search and rescue operations for the missing and dead have been suspended due to low light and risky conditions, and will resume early on Monday morning, a spokesman for the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conred) said in a WhatsApp group.

Guatemala City's global airport has re-opened after it was closed by falling ash from the eruption of the Volcano of Fire to the west.

The eruption of Fuego - Spanish for "fire" - on Sunday was the biggest in more than four decades, forcing the closure of Guatemala's main global airport and dumping ash on thousands of acres of coffee farms on the volcano's slopes.

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Walter Cotte, Regional Director of Americas for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said: "This disaster is very serious, and the situation may get even worse - as well as the ongoing eruption, communities are also at high risk of mud avalanches". El Periódico newspaper reported that lava wasn't initially expected to hit homes, but the lava flow quickly changed direction on a deadly path with nearby residents' homes and farms.

On the floor of the community center, Efrain Gonzalez, 52, says he can not rest. Seven deaths were confirmed previously. The eruption killed at least 25 people and injured many more.

The conical Volcan de Fuego reaches an altitude of 3,763 metres above sea level at its peak.

Guatemala's Volcan de Fuego, Spanish for "volcano of fire", exploded shortly before noon (4am AEST). Lava began flowing down the mountain's flank and across homes and roads around 4 p.m.

Flights to and from Guatemala City's La Aurora airport were canceled, leaving thousands of travelers stranded.

Authorities have said they feared the death toll could rise with an undetermined number of people unaccounted for.

Soot blanketed cars and houses in the nearby villages of San Pedro Yepocapa and Sangre de Cristo.

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