The volcanic eruption Sunday spewed a river of red hot lava and belched thick clouds of smoke nearly six miles into the air, according to the CONRED, the government agency for disaster reduction. Ashen remnants covered neighborhoods. In addition to the fatalities, 20 others were injured, CONRED said.
Survivors described the horror and destruction when the volcano erupted.
“Not everyone escaped, I think they were buried,” Consuelo Hernandez said in a video released by CONRED. “We saw the lava was pouring through the corn fields and we ran toward a hill.”
Hernandez told officials from the disaster agency that some of her relatives were buried. Images from the scene showed a firefighter weeping.
Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales declared three days of national mourning.