At least six people were killed and 20 injured as Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupted for the second time this year on Sunday.
National Disaster Coordinator Sergio Cabanas said four people died when lava set a house on fire and two children were burned to death while watching the eruption from a bridge.
The volcano spewed a river of red lava and sent a thick cloud of black smoke and ash into the sky causing more than 300 people to be evacuated from nearby villages and forcing the capital’s La Aurora international airport to shut down its only runway.
The active volcano is about 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of the capital Guatemala City.
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‘A river of lava’
“It’s a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the Rodeo village. There are injured, burned and dead people,” Cabanas said on radio.
“We are evacuating and rescuing people and have reports of 20 wounded, six dead and disappeared,” said Cabanas.
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Earlier on Sunday, the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) in Guatemala said fiery clouds of smoke were billowing from the volcano and that soot had blanketed cars and houses in the nearby villages of San Pedro Yepocapa and Sangre de Cristo.
Lesser amounts of ash fell on Guatemala City, which is 44 kilometers (27 miles) from the volcano.
The Fuego volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in Central America.
“It is important to remain calm because the Fuego volcano erupts throughout the year,” said David de Leon, spokesman for the National Coordination for Disaster Reduction.
law/aw (AP, Reuters)