Several dead as Guatemala volcano erupts

Several dead as Guatemala volcano erupts

Villages in the Escuintla department were affected, too, CONRED Executive Secretary Sergio García Cabañas said.

A volcano southwest of Guatemala's capital has erupted for the second time this year, setting off loud explosions and spewing ash almost four miles into the sky.

Guatemala has two other active volcanoes, Santiaguito in the west and Pacaya, just south of the capital.

Earlier on Sunday, the volcano spewed black smoke and ash into the sky, prompting the evacuation of about 100 people. A massive stream of lava could also be seen running through the region.

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She said: "Not everyone escaped, I think they were buried". "There are injured, burned and dead people".

Rescue operations were suspended until 5:00 A.M. (1100 GMT) due to risky conditions and inclement weather, said Cecilio Chacaj, a spokesman for the municipal firefighters department. Another victim was found in the street by volunteer firefighters but died in an ambulance.

Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales said a national emergency is underway. "Currently the volcano continues to erupt and there exists a high potential for (pyroclastic) avalanches of debris", the disaster agency said via Twitter, quoting Sanchez, the director of the seismology and volcanology institute.

Authorities have confirmed that at least seven people were killed and over 300 injured.

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Guatemala's disaster agency said 3,100 people had evacuated nearby communities, and ash fall from the eruption was affecting an area with a population of about 1.7 million of the country's 15 million or so people.

The Guatemalan military said it was providing assistance including clearing volcanic ash from La Aurora airport's runway.

The conical Volcan de Fuego is 12,346 feet above sea level at its peak.

An employee sweeps the entrance of a gas station covered with ash after Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted violently, in Guatemala City, Guatemala June 3, 2018. Streets and houses were covered in the colonial town of Antigua, a popular tourist destination.

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Officials have advised citizens to wear masks due to the falling ash.

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