Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Dozens Dead, Hundreds Injured as Result of Volcano Eruption in Guatemala

Dozens Dead, Hundreds Injured as Result of Volcano Eruption in Guatemala

People flee El Rodeo village, Escuintla department, 35 km south of Guatemala City, after the eruption of the Fuego Volcano on June 3, 2018.

Volcan del Fuego is one of the most active volcanoes in Central America.

Former Abbotsford resident Judy Bergen lives in Jocotenango, Guatemala (top right), not far from where Volcan de Fuego (bottom left) erupted on Sunday. Three bodies lay partially buried in ash-colored debris from the volcano, which lies about 27 miles (44 kilometers) from Guatemala City.

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. Video recorded by the National Coordination for Disaster Reduction of Guatemala (CONRED) shows the woman, identified by RBC Televisión as El Rodeo resident Consuelo Hernández, walking dazed down a smoky street to describe the horrific scene she'd just witnessed.

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Falling ash covered the streets, cars and houses in the popular tourist destination Antigua Guatemala, located around 15 miles from the volcano, as well as in Guatemala City, where the ash clouds led to the closure on Sunday afternoon of La Aurora International Airport.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said he would issue a declaration of a state of emergency to be approved by Congress and urged people to listen to warnings from emergency officials.

More than 3,100 villagers have been evacuated while search and rescue efforts continue as the eruption is expected to blight nearly two million people.

Among the dead are two children-a brother and sister who were burned to death as they watched the eruption from a bridge, Sergio Cabanas, the country's national disaster coordinator, told the AP. Hundreds were injured and many are missing.

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Conred spokesman David de Leon said the volcano first erupted around midday on Sunday, billowing smoke and ash miles into the sky. Sergio Cabanas, director of the disaster agency, said Tuesday night at a news conference that 192 people were listed as missing.

The eruption of Fuego - Spanish for "fire" - on Sunday was the biggest in more than four decades...

The capital's worldwide airport has also been closed due to the danger the ash poses to planes.

A powerful natural disaster has also hit the Guatemalan coast, though there are no reports of damage so far.

Sergio Garcia Cabanas, director of CONRED, said that in addition to the mounting death toll, at least 20 others have been injured as a result of the blast. The Volcano of Fire has erupted on and off for centuries, according to the USGS, and this is its second eruption this year.

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The Volcano of Fire releases lava, seen from Escuintla, Guatemala, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. It spewed a river of hot lava that cut directly through the village of El Rodeo, at the foot of the volcano, burying the town and causing some deaths.

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