At least 25 people have been killed, including three children, after a Guatemala volcano erupted on Saturday.
Volcan de Fuego (‘volcano of fire’), one of Central America’s most active volcanos, sent lava flowing into rural communities where homes and roads were charred and blanketed with ash.
Hundreds more have been injured and authorities are expecting the death toll to rise.
‘It’s a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the Rodeo village. There are injured, burned and dead people,’ Sergio Cabanas, the general secretary of Guatemala’s Conred disaster agency, said on radio.
Firefighters explained that many of those trapped were unable to be freed due to pyroclastic flow (fast-moving volcanic matter).
Eddy Sanchez, director of the country’s seismology and volcanology institute, said the flows reached temperatures of about 700C (1,300F).
Guatemala’s disaster agency said 3,100 people had evacuated nearby communities, and ash fall from the eruption was affecting an area with about 1.7 million of country’s 15 million or so people.
Shelters were opened for those forced to flee.
A man looks at the Fuego Volcano in eruption, from Alotenango municipality, Sacatepequez department. (Getty)
A man cleans ashes from the Fuego Volcano off his car in Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez department, 45 km southwest of Guatemala City. (Getty)