Several media outlets are reporting that an eruption at Guatemala’s Fuego volcano has claimed the lives of at least 25 people and has left residents in the area covered in ash.
According to CNN a report, the volcanic eruption Sunday spewed a river of red hot lava and belched thick clouds of smoke nearly six miles into the air, according to the CONRED, the government agency for disaster reduction. Ashen remnants covered neighborhoods. In addition to the fatalities, 20 others were injured, CONRED said.
According to Fox News, this was Guatemala’s most violent eruption in more than 100 years.
Sergio Cabanas, head of CONRED, said the town of El Rodeo had been "buried,” according to a BBC News report. More than 3,100 people have been evacuated while search and rescue efforts continue into the night, said Cabanas. The explosion will affect 1.7 million people, according to CNN.
Other towns affected include Alotenango and San Miguel los Lotes. Rescuers are still trying to reach a number of villages and the death toll is expected to rise, according to BBC.
According to CNN, authorities urged residents living near the volcano to evacuate immediately, and warned some in Chimaltenango, Sacatepequez and Escuintla states to watch out for volcanic rocks and ash.
According to the Fox report, the Volcan de Fuego, or "Volcano of Fire," exploded in hail of ash and molten rock blanketing nearby villages with heavy ash at around noon on Sunday. Lava began flowing out of the volcano and down toward the mountain’s flank and across homes and roads around 4 p.m.