Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

At least 7 dead as volcano erupts in Guatemala

At least 7 dead as volcano erupts in Guatemala At least 7 dead as volcano erupts in Guatemala
Lisa Bryan | 04 June, 2018, 08:22

A man cleans ashes from the Volcan de Fuego off his vehicle in Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez department, southwest of Guatemala City on Sun., June 3, 2018. "That could cause more mud flows and nearby rivers to burst their banks", said Eddy Sanchez, director of Guatemala's seismological, volcanic and meteorological institute.

Lesser amounts of ash fell on Guatemala City, which is 44 kilometers (27 miles) from the volcano. Other videos from local media showed residents walking barefoot and covered in muddy residue.

"Not everyone escaped, I think they were buried", Consuelo Hernandez told local news outlet Diario de Centroamerica. Hundreds of rescue workers, including firefighters, police and soldiers worked to recover bodies from the still-smoking lava.

Sergio Cabanas of the National Disaster prevention committee spoke to Reuters and informed that people have been burned and killed including a member of his staff.

Amid darkness and rain, the rescue effort was suspended until early morning, municipal firefighters' spokesman Cecilio Chacaj said.

It was the 3,763-meter (12,346-feet) volcano's second eruption this year. Another victim was found in the street by volunteer firefighters but died in an ambulance.

At an ad-hoc morgue in the town of Alotenango, at least three bodies lay covered with blue sheets.


David de León, spokesman for the disaster agency, said about 300 people had evacuated the area around the volcano.

Farmers covered in ash fled for their lives as civil defense staffers tried to relocate them to shelters during the event.

Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales said a national emergency is underway.

Ash was falling on the Guatemala City area as well as the departments of Sacatepequez, Chimaltenango and Escuintla, which are in south-central Guatemala around the volcano.

The Fuego eruption resulted in closure of La Aurora airport of the country's capital of Guatemala City, the TV Azteca broadcaster reported on Sunday citing the Guatemalan Coordinating Agency for Disaster Reduction (CONRED).

It is close to the popular tourist destination Antigua, which is known for its coffee plantations.

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