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Guatemala's Fuego volcano disaster: Latest updates

Guatemala's Fuego volcano disaster: Latest updates

An estimated 25 people, including at least three children, were killed and almost 300 injured on Sunday, officials said.

The Fuego Volcano in eruption, seen from Alotenango municipality, June 3, 2018.

A volunteer firefighter carries a child after the eruption of the Fuego Volcano, in El Rodeo village, Escuintla department, south of Guatemala City, June 3, 2018.

Disaster agency chief Sergio Cabanas also said Monday that helicopters had rescued 10 people from areas hit by thick ash, mud or lava. Almost 2,000 people are in shelters and more than 3,200 were evacuated from the areas near the volcano west of Guatemala City.

An AFP journalist saw at least three bodies burned in the rubble of the village of San Miguel Los Lotes, where rescue workers, soldiers and police were desperately searching for survivors.

Search and rescue operations were suspended due to low light and unsafe conditions but were to resume early on Monday morning, he said.

Dozens of videos appeared on social media and Guatemalan TV showing the extent of the devastation. Steaming lava flowed down the streets of a village as emergency crews entered homes in search of trapped residents.

"Unfortunately El Rodeo was buried and we haven't been able to reach the La Libertad village because of the lava and maybe there are people that died there too".

"Not everyone escaped, I think they were buried", Consuelo Hernandez told local news outlet Diario de Centroamerica in a video.

It urged residents living near the volcano to evacuate immediately and warned residents of the towns of Chimaltenango, Sacatepequez and Escuintla to watch out for volcanic rocks and ash.

Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales has now declared three days of national mourning. Guatemala City's La Aurora worldwide airport have been shut down due to the presence of volcanic ash on the runway, which may cause an accident.

The Fuego volcano, about 40km south-west of the capital Guatemala City, spewed rocks and ash into the sky on Sunday.

The active volcano is located some 25 miles (40 km) southwest of the capital Guatemala City and is close to the colonial city of Antigua, popular with tourists and known for its coffee plantations.

Workers and guests were evacuated from the La Reunion golf club near Antigua.

Kilauea's primary mode of destruction is lava, but Fuego has unleashed pyroclastic flow - a nasty mix of ash, rock and volcanic gases that can be much more unsafe than lava.

Volcan de Fuego means Volcano of Fire in English.

In Guatemala, pyroclastic flow from Sunday's eruption topped 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit (about 1,000 degrees Celsius), CNN meteorologist Ivan Cabrera said. As of Monday morning, volcanic activity had subsided, according to Guatemala's National Institute of Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology.

Officials have advised people to wear masks as protection against falling ash in four of Guatemala's regions.