GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – At least six people were killed and 20 wounded on Sunday when Guatemala's volcano Fuego erupted violently, spewing a stream of red-hot lava and belching a thick plume of black smoke and ash that rained on the capital and other regions
"It's a river of lava that overflowed and affected the town of Rodeo, there are wounded, burned and dead," said Sergio Cabanas, general secretary of the Conrad disaster agency in Guatemala, on the radio.
"We are evacuating and rescuing people and we have reports of 20 wounded, six dead and missing," said Cabanas.
A woman covered in ash said that the lava was poured into the fields of corn and that she feared that more would die.
"Not all escaped, I think they were buried, "Consuelo Hernandez told the local news program Diario de Centroamérica in a video.
The smoky lava flowed through the streets of a village when emergency crews entered the houses in search of trapped residents, showed a video in a different local media.
The eruption forced the La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City to close its only runway due to the presence of volcanic ash and ensure the safety of passengers and aircraft, the authority said. of civil aviation of Guatemala in a Tweet.
The volcano is about 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 the La Reunion golf club near Antigua. The video images showed a black ash cloud that rose beyond the golf club. The lava river was running on the other side of the volcano.
The huge plumes of smoke that could be seen from various parts of the country and the ashes that fell in four of the departments of Guatemala caused alarm among the residents.
President Jimmy Morales scheduled a press conference later in the evening.
Officials asked residents to remain calm.
David de León, spokesman for the National Disaster Prevention Authority, said a change in the wind was responsible for the fall of volcanic ash in parts of the capital.
Sofia Menchu report; Written by Anthony Esposito; Edition of Sandra Maler