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Guatemala’s disaster management agency says at least 25 people are dead after a volcano erupted Sunday near Guatemala City, spewing molten lava, and covering nearby villages in thick smoke and ash.
Disaster officials said the eruption has affected more than one million people, with 3,100 evacuated from areas around the volcano and 20 injured people taken to health centers.
Crews are assisting people in Escuintla, Sacatepéquez and Chimaltenango provinces, and carrying out search operations for people who are missing.
“It’s a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the Rodeo village. There are injured, burned and dead people,” National Disaster Coordinator Sergio Cabanas said on the radio. “We are evacuating and rescuing people.”
Fuego is located about 44 kilometers southwest of the capital, Guatemala City, and is close to the city of Antigua, which is a popular tourist destination.
David de Leon, spokesman for the National Disaster Prevention Authority, said about 300 people from areas near Fuego have been evacuated.
La Aurora International Airport was closed because of the threat to planes caused by the ash.
President Jimmy Morales was to hold a news conference late Sunday, while officials were telling residents in the area to remain calm.
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