News

Guatemala’s Fuego Volcano Eruption Kills 25, Injures Hundreds [Video]

An estimated 25 people, including at least three children, were killed and nearly 300 injured on Sunday in the most violent eruption of Guatemala’s Fuego volcano in more than four decades, officials said.

Volcan de Fuego, whose name means “Volcano of Fire”, spewed an 8-kilometer (5-mile) stream of red-hot lava and belched a thick plume of black smoke and ash that rained onto the capital and other regions.

The charred bodies of victims laid on the steaming, ashen remnants of a pyroclastic flow as rescuers attended to badly injured victims in the aftermath of the eruption.

It was the 3,763-meter (12,346-feet) volcano’s second eruption this year.

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

CONRED said the number of dead had risen to 25, from an earlier estimate of seven, including a CONRED employee. Some 3,100 people have been evacuated from the area.

Officials said the dead were so far all concentrated in three towns: El Rodeo, Alotenango and San Miguel Los Lotes.

Rescue operations were suspended until 5:00 A.M. (1100 GMT) due to dangerous conditions and inclement weather, said Cecilio Chacaj, a spokesman for the municipal firefighter’s department.

Dozens of videos appeared on social media and Guatemalan TV showing the extent of the devastation.

One video published by news outlet Telediario, purportedly taken in the El Rodeo village, showed three bodies strewn atop the remnants of the flow as rescuers arrived to attend to an elderly man caked from head to toe in ash and mud.

“Unfortunately El Rodeo was buried and we haven’t been able to reach the La Libertad village because of the lava and maybe there are people that died there too,” said CONRED’s Cabanas.

“I Think They Were Buried’

In another video, a visibly exhausted woman, her face blackened from ash, said she had narrowly escaped as lava poured through corn fields.

“Not everyone escaped, I think they were buried,” Consuelo Hernandez told news outlet Diario de Centroamerica.

Steaming lava flowed down the streets of a village as emergency crews entered homes in search of trapped residents, another video on a different media outlet showed.

President Jimmy Morales said he had convened his ministers and was considering declaring a state of emergency in the departments of Chimaltenango, Escuintla and Sacatepequez.

The eruption forced Guatemala City’s La Aurora international airport to shut down its only runway due to the presence of volcanic ash and to guarantee passenger and aircraft safety, Guatemala’s civil aviation authority said on Twitter.

The volcano is some 25 miles (40 km) southwest of the capital, Guatemala City, and is close to the colonial city of Antigua, which is popular with tourists and is known for its coffee plantations.

Workers and guests were evacuated from La Reunion golf club near Antigua as a black cloud of ash rose from just beyond the club’s limits. The lava river was running on the other side of the volcano.

Officials said the volcanic eruption still presented a danger and could cause more mud and pyroclastic flows.

“Temperatures in the pyroclastic flow can exceed 700 degrees (Celsius) and volcanic ash can rain down on a 15-km (9-mile) radius. 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.

The huge plumes of smoke that could be seen from various parts of the country and the ash that fell in four of Guatemala’s departments caused alarm among residents.

David de Leon, a CONRED spokesman, said a change in wind was to blame for the volcanic ash falling on parts of the capital.

This story originally appeared in Reuters. Image courtesy of Orlando Estrada/AFP/Getty Images.

Join The Discussion

Turkey's Erdogan And Main Rival Stage Final Election Rallies
Turkey’s Erdogan And Main Rival Stage Final Election Rallies [Video]
European Union Agrees Deal To End Financial Crisis
European Union Agrees Deal To End Financial Crisis [Video]
EU Imposes Tariffs On US Peanuts, Motorcycles And Whiskey
EU Imposes Tariffs On US Peanuts, Motorcycles And Whiskey [Video]
EU Is Getting Ready For No Brexit Deal Scenario
EU Is Getting Ready For No Brexit Deal Scenario [Video]
Cambodia Warning Against Unlicensed Cryptocurrency Trading
Cambodia Warning Against Unlicensed Cryptocurrency Trading
Bitcoin Plummet Sharply To Four-Month Low In Persistent Bearish Trend
Crypto Prices Plummet Sharply To Four-Month Low In Persistent Bearish Trend
Cryptocurrency Market Lose $17 Billion In 24 Hours
Cryptocurrency Market Lose $17 Billion In 24 Hours – Ethereum Falls 7%
At Least $20 Billion In Crypto Investment Awaits Custody Approval
At Least $20 Billion In Crypto Investment Awaits Custody Approval
Here Are 8 Ways To Improve Your Customer Engagement On Social Media
Here Are 8 Ways To Improve Your Customer Engagement On Social Media
Sales Not Where You Want Them To Be
Sales Not Where You Want Them To Be? Consider Video Marketing [Video]
7 Secrets Of Successful Online Video Marketing Strategies
7 Secrets Of Successful Online Video Marketing Strategies
How To Use YouTuber Content As A Promotional Tool
How To Use YouTuber Content As A Promotional Tool
Facebook Test New Tool To Show How Many Minutes You Spend On It
Instagram Reaches 1 Billion Monthly Active Users
Instagram Reaches 1 Billion Monthly Active Users
Facebook Tests ‘Subscription Groups’ That Charge For Exclusive Content
Facebook Tests ‘Subscription Groups’ That Charge For Exclusive Content
Instagram Launching Its Long Form Video Hub Platform Tomorrow
Instagram Launching Its Long Form Video Hub Platform Tomorrow
10 Books To Shape Your Business And Personal Development
10 Books To Shape Your Business And Personal Development [Video]
How To Build A Healthy, Wealthy And Wise Life
How To Build A Healthy, Wealthy And Wise Life [Podcast]
10 Subtle Signs Of Fake People That Are Easy To Miss
10 Subtle Signs Of Fake People That Are Easy To Miss
Make The Most Of Your Life And Give It Meaning
Make The Most Of Your Life And Give It Meaning [Video]