At least 6 killed, 20 hurt by erupting volcano in Guatemala

Locals driving away from the volcano 25 miles south-west of the capital Guatemala City

David de Leon, spokesman for the disaster agency, said about 300 people evacuated areas near the volcano.

One village was extremely affected by running lava causing deaths and injuries.

Volcanic ash covers parked motorcycles, brought by the Fuego Volcano, in Antigua Guatemala. Fuego is one of three active volcanos in Guatemala. Firefighters said they had seen some people who were trapped, but roads leading to the area were cut by pyroclastic flows and they had been unable to reach it.

At least seven people have been killed and 20 more injured by Sunday's eruption of the Volcan de Fuego, which lies about 27 miles (44 kilometers) southwest of Guatemala City.

National Disaster Coordinator Sergio Cabanas had previously confirmed that seven people were dead and an unknown number were unaccounted for.

Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales said a national emergency is underway.

The capital's La Aurora airport has been closed.

The conical Volcan de Fuego reaches an altitude of 12,346ft (3,763 meters) above sea level at its peak.

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An ash-covered woman told the Diario de Centroamerica that lava had poured through corn fields and she thought more people may have died.

Ash fell on the Guatemala City area as well as the departments of Sacatepequez, Chimaltenango and Escuintla, which are in south-central Guatemala around the volcano.

The eruption also forced the Guatemala City's La Aurora global airport to shut down its only runway. A video circulating on social media showed a black cloud of ash rising from just beyond the golf club.

"We have shut it down as a precautionary measure for the planes because the volcanic ash is harmful to the turbines", the airport spokesman, Francis Argueta said.

It is the second time the volcano has erupted this year, setting off loud explosions and spewing ash almost four miles into the sky.

The river of lava has reportedly changed direction and is now heading toward a small town.

Officials have advised citizens to wear masks due to falling ash, which has been raining down in four of Guatemala's administrative regions.

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