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Volcano of Fire

A volcano eruption in Guatemala destroys villages near the capital city

The eruption of the Volcan de Fuego in Guatemala sent residents fleeing from fast-flowing lava and covering the surrounding area in ash.

Volcan de Fuego, which means "volcano of fire" in Spanish, is located about 70 km/44 miles southwest of the capital Guatemala City. Around 1.7 million people were affected by the eruption and also the city's international airport had to be closed for one day.

The villages of El Rodeo and San Miguel Los Lotes were largely destroyed and around 3,200 people had to be evacuated from the area surrounding the volcano.

People living near the volcano lost everything and are having to seek shelter in the emergency centres set up by disaster management. Rescuers are still searching for missing people, while 65 people are confirmed dead. More than 40 people are reported to be injured.

"The lava came through the door and burnt my foot. I couldn't believe it. There've always been instances of ash rain but never anything like this." (Domingo Lopez who managed to reach an emergency shelter)

Volcan de Fuego is considered as the most active in Central America. This eruption, however, was the most powerful since 1974.

Mexico, Honduras and the United Nations have offered support while Israel announced it would send food and medicine.

Guatemala is a country on the North American continent and is located on the 'Ring of Fire'. More than 60 volcanoes are located in Guatemala, however, only four are active.

image: dpa


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