Deaths, injuries reported after volcano erupts in Guatemala

Volcano of Fire shoots ash 10km into air triggers evacuations in Guatemala

The death toll is mounting after a violent eruption of one of Central America's most active volcanoes, Guatemala's Volcano de Fuego - which in Spanish means "volcano of fire", - erupted on Sunday.

A Guatemala police officer attempting to escape the dooming cloud of ash rushing toward him captured the moment Volcan del Fuego erupted on Sunday, sending people fleeing by foot and vehicle before the thick, gray dust engulfs them.

About 3,100 people were evacuated and almost 300 have been injured after the eruption, according to the country's disaster agency.

The Fuego Volcano eruption in Guatemala has wreaked havoc in the country, leading to the deaths of at least 25 people and injuries of hundreds more, as well as mass evacuations and disruption of the work of a major airport.

The eruption of Fuego - Spanish for "fire" - on Sunday was the biggest in more than four decades, forcing the closure of Guatemala's main global airport and dumping ash on thousands of acres (hectares) of coffee farms on the volcano's slopes.

The conical Volcan de Fuego reaches an altitude of 12,346ft (3,763 meters) above sea level at its peak.

Guatemala City's global airport has re-opened after it was closed by falling ash from the eruption of the Volcano of Fire to the west. "There are injured, burned and dead people", Cabanas said on radio.

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"They gave the emergency order to evacuate, and we all went running", one rescue volunteer said on television.

Police officers carry a wounded man after the eruption of the Fuego Volcano, in El Rodeo village, Escuintla department south of Guatemala City on June 3, 2018.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said he would issue a declaration of a state of emergency to be approved by Congress and urged people to heed warnings from emergency officials.

Rescuers on Monday (overnight NZT) pulled at least 10 people alive from ash drifts and mud flows that poured down the slopes of Guatemala's erupting Volcano of Fire, but officials said at least 33 people were dead and the toll was expected to rise. The lava river was running on the other side of the volcano.

More than 3,100 people have been evacuated from their homes while search and rescue efforts continue into the night, Sergio Garcïa Cabanas, director of Conred, said on Sunday night. The disaster killed more than 36,000 people. Shelters were opened for those forced to flee. Streets and houses were covered in the colonial town of Antigua.

Aviation authorities there closed the worldwide airport due to the potential danger to planes by the ash, the AP reported.

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