Guatemala Volcanic Eruption Sends Lava into Homes, Kills 25

Fuego erupting in 2011

(From AP News)

A fiery volcanic eruption in south-central Guatemala sent lava flowing into rural communities, killing at least 25 as rescuers struggled to reach people where homes and roads were charred and blanketed with ash.

The death toll rose late Sunday with 18 bodies found in the community of San Miguel Los Lotes, disaster agency spokesman David de Leon said, adding to the seven victims previously confirmed elsewhere earlier in the day.

At least 20 people were injured, and authorities have said they feared the death toll could rise with an undetermined number of people unaccounted for.

The Volcan de Fuego, or “Volcano of Fire,” exploded in a hail of ash and molten rock shortly before noon, blanketing nearby villages in heavy ash. Lava began flowing down the mountain’s flank and across homes and roads around 4 p.m.

Eddy Sanchez, director of the country’s seismology and volcanology institute, said the flows reached temperatures of about 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit (700 Celsius).

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