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'Volcano of Fire' Erupts Explosively, Killing Dozens

It sent a river of lava into Guatemalan villages
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2018 1:45 AM CDT
Updated Jun 4, 2018 3:33 AM CDT
Neighbors stand outside a temporary morgue near Volcan de Fuego or Volcano of Fire in Alotenango, Guatemala, Sunday, June 3, 2018.   (AP Photo/Luis Soto)
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(Newser) – Guatemala's Volcan de Fuego—"Volcano of Fire"—lived up to its name on Sunday with an explosive eruption that killed at least 25 people. The volcano, around 27 miles southwest of Guatemala City, spewed rocks and ash into the air and the country's National Disaster Management Agency says it sent lava rolling into villages, the BBC reports. "It's a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the El Rodeo village," says agency chief Sergio Cabanas. "There are injured, burned, and dead people." He says El Rodeo was buried and other villages have been cut off by the lava.

Cabanas says the victims include two children killed as they watched the eruption from a bridge and a disaster agency official who died after the lava set a home in El Rodeo on fire, the AP reports. Survivors say some people were unable to escape as the lava poured through corn fields after the eruption Sunday afternoon. The disaster agency says more than 3,000 people have fled their homes and around 1.7 million people live in the area affected by ash. "We think that there could be a state of devastation in at least three areas," said President Jimmy Morales, declaring a national emergency and three days of national mourning. The eruption, the volcano's worst since 1974, officially ended Sunday evening but officials warn that more eruptions are possible, CNN reports. (Read more Guatemala stories.)

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