Guatemala Volcano Eruption Kills At Least 25
Guatemala's disaster management agency says at least 25 people are dead after a volcano erupted Sunday near Guatemala City, spewing molten lava and covering nearby villages in thick smoke and ash. Journalists and authorities said the death toll was expected to rise, as more bodies are pulled from the ash.
Disaster officials said the eruption has affected more than one million people, with 3,100 evacuated from areas around the volcano and 20 injured people taken to health centers.
Crews are assisting people in Escuintla, Sacatepéquez and Chimaltenango provinces, and carrying out search operations for people who are missing.
"It's a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the Rodeo village. There are injured, burned and dead people," National Disaster Coordinator Sergio Cabanas said on the radio. "We are evacuating and rescuing people."
Cabanas said four people were killed in the village of El Rodeo when lava set their house on fire, and he told the Associated Press that two children burned to death on a bridge while watching the eruption.
Fuego is located about 44 kilometers southwest of the capital, Guatemala City, and is close to the city of Antigua, which is a popular tourist destination.
La Aurora International Airport re-opened Monday, after it was closed due to the threat to planes caused by the ash.
The United Nations issued a statement saying Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life and significant damage caused by the El Fuego volcano, and that the U.N. is ready to support national rescue and relief efforts.