The Latest: Volcano rescue effort suspended for night
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — The latest on the eruption of a volcano southwest of Guatemala’s capital (all times local):
Firefighters in Guatemala say some people have been trapped by a deadly volcanic eruption but they have been forced to call off rescue efforts until morning over safety concerns.
Firefighter spokesman Mynor Ruano says pyroclastic flows have cut off roads leading to the area southwest of Guatemala’s capital and they have not been able to reach it.
The rescue is being further complicated by rainfall and darkness.
Another spokesman for municipal firefighters, Cecilio Chacaj, says the rescue operation will resume in the morning.
At least seven people have been killed and 20 more injured by Sunday’s eruption of the Volcan de Fuego, which lies about 27 miles (44 kilometers) southwest of Guatemala City. An undetermined number of people are believed missing, and officials fear the death toll could rise.
One of Central America’s most active volcanos has erupted in fiery explosions of ash and molten rock, killing at least seven people and injuring 20 while a towering cloud of smoke blankets nearby villages in heavy ash. An undetermined number are missing, and Guatemalan authorities fear the toll could rise.
The Volcan de Fuego exploded shortly before noon Sunday. About four hours later, lava began flowing down the side of the mountain.
Video images show a charred landscape where a lava flow came into contact with homes. Three bodies lay partially buried in ash-colored debris from the volcano, which lies about 27 miles (44 kilometers) from Guatemala City. Other videos show residents walking barefoot and covered in muddy residue.
Hundreds of firefighters, police and soldiers are searching for the missing amid the still-smoking lava.
Authorities in Guatemala say six people have been killed and 20 injured by the eruption of a volcano southwest of the capital.
National Disaster Coordinator Sergio Cabanas says an undetermined number of people also are missing following Sunday’s eruption of the Volcan del Fuego, which is 44 kilometers (27 miles) from Guatemala City.
Cabanas says four people died when lava set a house on fire and two children were burned to death while standing on a bridge watching the eruption.
Disaster agency spokesman David de Leon says about 300 people have been evacuated from nearby villages, which are being blanketed by ash as fiery smoke billows nearly four miles into the sky. Some ash also has fallen on the capital.
A volcano southwest of Guatemala’s capital has erupted for the second time this year, setting off loud explosions and spewing ash nearly four miles into the sky.
The National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction in Guatemala said Sunday that fiery clouds of smoke were billowing from the Volcan del Fuego and that soot blanketed cars and houses in the nearby villages of San Pedro Yepocapa and Sangre de Cristo.
Lesser amounts of ash fell on Guatemala City, which is 44 kilometers (27 miles) from the volcano.
Volcan del Fuego is one of the most active volcanoes in Central America.