An estimated 25 people, including at least three children, were killed and nearly 300 injured on Sunday in the most violent eruption of Guatemala's Fuego volcano in more than four decades, officials said.
Volcan de Fuego, whose name means "Volcano of Fire", spewed an 8-kilometer stream of red hot lava and belched a thick plume of black smoke and ash that rained onto the capital and other regions.
The charred bodies of victims laid on the steaming, ashen remnants of a pyroclastic flow as rescuers attended to badly injured victims in the aftermath of the eruption.
It was the 3,763-meter volcano's second eruption this year.
"It's a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the El Rodeo village. There are injured, burned and dead people," Sergio Cabanas, the general secretary of Guatemala's CONRED national disaster management agency, said on radio.
CONRED said the number of dead had risen to 25, from an earlier estimate of seven, including a CONRED employee. Some 3,100 people have been evacuated from the area.
Officials said the dead were so far all concentrated in three towns: El Rodeo, Alotenango and San Miguel los Lotes.
Rescue operations were suspended until 5:00 AM due to dangerous conditions and inclement weather, said Cecilio Chacaj, a spokesman for the municipal firefighters department.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team