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Death toll rises to 25, 1.7 mln affected in Guatemala volcano eruption

Manisha Thapa World

Death toll rises to 25, 1.7 mln affected in Guatemala volcano eruption

GUATEMALA CITY, June 3 (Xinhua) : Twenty-five people have been killed and 296 others injured in Guatemala as a highly active volcano near the country's capital erupted for the second time this year, authorities said Sunday.About 1.7 million people have been affected by the eruption and more than 3,000 evacuated, the Guatemalan government tweeted.
Casualties could further rise due to the difficulties in disaster relief efforts.

Firefighters in Guatemala said there were reports of some people being trapped by the deadly eruption, but they have been forced to call off rescue efforts until morning for safety concerns.Fuego volcano, located about 50 km west of the capital of Guatemala City, exploded around noon local time and lava began flowing down in the afternoon.

According to a preliminary report from the National Coordination for Disaster Reduction of Guatemala (CONRED), the eruption is "the strongest one recorded in recent years."

CONRED said the eruption has caused a column of ash more than 11 km above sea level, and generated strong rumblings with waves that caused vibration in roofs and windows at a distance of 20 km.The civil aviation authority of Guatemala announced a temporary closure of operations at Guatemala City's international airport due to the presence of volcanic ash.

According to vulcanologists, eruption records of Fuego Volcano, one of the country's most active volcanoes, date back to 1542.At its fiercest, the volcano could spray ash all the way to the country's southern neighbors of El Salvador and Honduras.

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