Killed, Over 2000 Evacuated As Guatemalan Volcano Erupts, City Airport Shut

Locals driving away from the volcano 25 miles south-west of the capital Guatemala City

Photos taken near Volcan de Fuego show the volcano spewing black smoke and ash into the sky.

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 is the second time the volcano has erupted this year, setting off loud explosions and spewing ash almost four miles into the sky.

A search was underway for the missing, though first responders efforts were hindered by the lava flow, officials said.

National Disaster Coordinator Sergio Cabanas said an undetermined number of people were missing following the eruption of the Volcan de Fuego, which is 44 kilometres from Guatemala City.

CONRED said the number of dead had risen to 25, from an earlier estimate of seven, including a CONRED employee.

Around 3,100 people have been evacuated from nearby communities into shelters.

Firefighters said late Sunday that they had seen some people who were trapped in the area, but roads leading there were cut by pyroclastic flows and they had been unable to reach them.

The volcanic ash was registered in seven municipalities near the erupting volcano.

"It's a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the Rodeo village".

She said: "Not everyone escaped, I think they were buried".

Ash was falling on the Guatemala City area as well as the areas 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).

The active volcano is located some 25 miles (40 km) southwest of the capital Guatemala City and is close to the colonial city of Antigua, popular with tourists and 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. "This is an very bad place to be, if you are ever around an erupting volcano like this and you see a cloud moving along the ground towards you, RUN".

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