25 Killed, 300 Injured As Volcano Erupts In Guatemala, Forcing Evacuation Of Over 3,000

| June 4 , 2018 , 10:25 IST

At least 25 people have been killed, including 3 children and another 300 injured on Sunday in the most violent eruption of the Fuego volcano in Guatemala in more than 40 years. Around 3,100 people have been evacuated from the volcano area so far.

The Fuego volcano, located 44km away from the capital 'Guatemala City' spewed an 8 km stream of lava along with black smoke and ash that rained onto the capital and other regions, forcing the La Aurora international airport to shut down its only runway. Soot covered cars and houses in the nearby villages of San Pedro Yepocapa and Sangre de Cristo.

Sergio Cabanas, the general secretary of Guatemala’s Conred disaster agency, said on the radio: “It’s a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the Rodeo village. There are injured, burned and dead people.”

The recent eruption marks the second time that the Fuego volcano has erupted this year, setting off loud explosions and spewing ash into the sky.

 “It is important to remain calm because the Fuego volcano erupts throughout the year,” said David de Leon, spokesman for the National Disaster Prevention Authority. He added that it was due to a change in wind that the volcanic ash was falling on parts of the city.

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The danger is not yet over as Eddy Sanchez, the director of Guatemala’s seismological, volcanic and meteorological institute, warned of the danger of mud flows.

“Temperatures in the pyroclastic flow can exceed 700 degrees [Celsius] and volcanic ash can rain down on a 15km (9.32-mile) radius. That could cause more mud flows and nearby rivers to burst their banks,” Sanchez said.

Overall, the eruption has affected the municipalities of Antigua Guatemala, Alotenango, San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Santa Catarina Barahona, Ciudad Vieja, San Miguel Dueñas, Acatenango, San Andres Itzapa, Patzicia, Saragoza, Patzún and Tecpán Guatemala.