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11 June 2018, 11:59 | Devin Moran
Guatemala's Fuego volcano claims lives in deadly eruption today
The charred bodies of victims laid on the steaming, ashen remnants of a pyroclastic flow as rescuers attended to badly injured victims.
The volcano's peak soars 3,763 meters above sea level.
One woman told the Diario de Centroamerica that lava had poured through corn fields and she thought more people may have died.
Among the fatalities were four people, including a disaster agency official, killed when lava set a house on fire in El Rodeo, National Disaster Co-ordinator Sergio Cabanas said. Almost 2,000 people are in shelters and more than 3,200 were evacuated from the areas near the volcano west of Guatemala City.
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.
Rescue operations resumed Monday morning after being suspended overnight due to the unsafe conditions.
Neighbors stand outside a temporary resting place for the dead near Volcan de Fuego or Volcano of Fire in Alotenango, Guatemala, Sunday, June 3, 2018.
Dozens of videos appeared on social media and Guatemalan TV showing the extent of the devastation. 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. "When the lava was already here they passed by in their pickup trucks yelling at us to leave, but the cars did not stop to pick up the people", said Rafael Letran, a resident of El Rodeo.
"Not everyone escaped, I think they were buried", Hernandez said in a video released by CONRED.
In the wake of the unfolding tragedy, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has declared the country will observe three days of national mourning.
The runway was closed due to the presence of volcanic ash and in order to guarantee passenger and aircraft safety, Guatemala's civil aviation authority said in a tweet.
The Fuego volcano is one of Latin America's most active volcanos, is bout 40km (25 miles) south-west of the capital Guatemala City.
Guatemala City's Fuego volcano took place at almost 25 miles (i.e. 40 km) from the Capital's southwest, which is closer to the Antigua's colonial city that is well known for the plantations of coffee and tourists popularity.
Wounded and traumatised survivors of the Fuego volcanic eruption in Guatemala are being rushed to hospital by the Red Cross, as urgent work continues to evacuate communities from the danger zone. The lava river was running on the other side of the volcano. "Temperatures in the pyroclastic flow can exceed 700 degrees (Celsius) and volcanic ash can rain down on a 15-km (9-mile) radius".
Explosions are still coming from the volcano, said Eddy Sanchez, director of the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology.
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