7 dead after Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupts

Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupted on Sunday for the second time this year, leaving at least 7 people dead and 20 injured, Guatemalan officials said.

The volcanic eruption 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’s national coordinator for disaster reduction.

The volcano, one of Central America’s most active, is located near the colonial city of Antigua. The explosion rained soot over the popular tourist destination and other villages in the Sacatepéquez department, covering them in ash.

Villages in the Escuintla department were affected, too, CONRED Executive Secretary Sergio García Cabañas said. Lesser amounts of ash reached the capital of Guatemala City some 25 miles away, forcing the closure of its international airport, CONRED said.

Explosions are still coming from the volcano, said Eddy Sánchez, director of the National Institute for Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology of Guatemala known as INSIVUMEH.

He warned of mudslides as rain falls, and urged people to stay off roads close to the volcano.