Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupted, killing at least 25 people and leaving residents covered in ash as they fled from billowing plumes.
The volcanic eruption Sunday spewed a river of red hot lava and belched thick clouds of smoke nearly six miles into the air, according to the CONRED, the government agency for disaster reduction. Ashen remnants covered neighborhoods.
In addition to the fatalities, 20 others were injured, CONRED said.Survivors described the horror and destruction when the volcano erupted.”Not everyone escaped, I think they were buried,” Consuelo Hernandez said in a video released by CONRED. “We saw the lava was pouring through the corn fields and we ran toward a hill.” Hernandez told officials from the disaster agency that some of her relatives were buried.
Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales declared three days of national mourning.More than 3,100 people have been evacuated while search and rescue efforts continue into the night, said Sergio García Cabañas, director of the disaster agency. The explosion will affect 1.7 million people.Authorities urged residents living near the volcano to evacuate immediately, and warned some in Chimaltenango, Sacatepequez and Escuintla states to watch out for volcanic rocks and ash. Residents were told to avoid roads close to the volcano and ensure water is not contaminated.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto expressed condolences and offered assistance.”All our solidarity and support to the President Jimmy Morales and the Guatemalan people for the loss of human life after the eruption of the volcano of Fire.”The President of El Salvador offered his condolences via Twitter and said his country stood ready to assist its neighbor.Israel’s Ambassador to Guatemala and the Mayor of Puerto Rico also expressed their solidarity.
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