Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

6 people killed by erupting volcano in Guatemala

6 people killed by erupting volcano in Guatemala 6 people killed by erupting volcano in Guatemala
Patty Aguilar | 10 June, 2018, 18:59

People of the villages skirting Guatemala's Volcano of Fire began mourning the few dead who could be identified after an eruption killed dozens by engulfing them in floods of searing ash and mud.

The 3,763-meter (12,346-foot) volcano erupted early Sunday, spewing out towering plumes of ash and a hail of fiery rock fragments with scalding mud.

The death toll of Sunday's eruption has reached 62 with many others still missing. They are also using social media as a way to bring relief to the more than 3,100 evacuated and the 1.7 million that will be affected as a result.

Other towns affected include Alotenango and San Miguel los Lotes.

The head of the country's disaster agency had previously put the death toll at 33, but warned it would go higher.

City workers sweep volcanic ash in Guatemala City. "There are injured, burned and dead people", Cabanas said on radio, according to Reuters.

David de Leon, spokesman for the disaster agency, said authorities had already evacuated about 300 people from nearby areas.

The ash forced the closure of La Aurora International Airport, where the military assisted in clearing ash off the runway.

Volcanic ash covers parked motorcycles, brought by the Fuego Volcano, in Antigua Guatemala, Sunday, June 3, 2018. People living in villages near the volcano didn't have much time or warning to escape the lava flow, reports CBS News correspondent Don Dahler.

Pyroclastic flow is a dense, destructive mass of very hot ash, lava fragments, and gases ejected explosively from a volcano and typically flowing downslope at great speed.

Some locals say they didn't learn of the danger until it was upon them.

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"Conred (the disaster agency) never told us to leave".

"It was fine then, erupting as normal with lava flows but it was a lot worse today", he said.

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.

Around 27 miles away in Guatemala City, the capital's global airport was forced to close, with images showing planes dusted with volcanic material.

The White House said in a statement that it was also dispatching aircraft to transport burn victims for treatment in Florida.

One of Central America's most active volcanoes, the conical Volcan de Fuego reaches an altitude of 3763 metres above sea level at its peak.

The Volcano of Fire releases lava, seen from Escuintla, Guatemala, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.

The Foreign Ministry said it was sending $10,000 to the country.

Israel and Guatemala have grown increasingly close in recent years.

On May 16, Guatemala opened its new embassy in Jerusalem, just two days after the US. Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as their future capital and have been infuriated by the embassy moves.

At least 25 people were killed after the volcano erupted Sunday, spewing a river of lava and plumes of smoke nearly 6 miles into the air, said CONRED, the government agency for disaster reduction.

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