Guatemala City: At least 25 persons were killed after a fiery volcanic erupted in Guatemala sending lava flowing into rural communities.
The rescuers struggled to reach people where homes and roads were charred and blanketed with ash.
Aviation authorities closed the capital’s international airport because of the danger posed to planes by the ash.
The death toll rose late Sunday with 18 bodies found in the community of San Miguel Los Lotes, disaster agency spokesman David de Leon said, adding to the seven victims previously confirmed elsewhere earlier in the day.
At least 20 people were injured, and authorities have said they feared the death toll could rise with an undetermined number of people unaccounted for.
The Volcan de Fuego, or “Volcano of Fire,” exploded in a hail of ash and molten rock shortly before noon, blanketing nearby villages in heavy ash. Lava began flowing down the mountain’s flank and across homes and roads around 4 pm.
Eddy Sanchez, director of the country’s seismology and volcanology institute, said the flows reached temperatures of about 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit (700 Celsius).