6 people killed by erupting volcano in Guatemala

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A chain of more than 30 volcanoes makes up Guatemala's part of the ring of fire, although only two others are active.

There is no electricity in the hardest hit areas of Los Lotes and El Rodeo, so most searching continued only until sunset. The National Coordination for Disaster Reduction of Guatemala earlier announced that there were 65 victims. "There are injured, burned, and dead people".

Conred spokesman David de Leon said the volcano first erupted around midday Sunday, billowing smoke and ash miles into the sky.

Few of the bodies have yet been identified because the intense heat left them unrecognizable.

Guatemala is situated on the "Ring of Fire", an area of intense seismic activity.

Temporary shelters were opened to evacuated and displaced residents.

Guatemala City's global airport reopened Monday after it was closed by falling ash from the eruption. At edge of local 19.30, runway had been cleared at 50%, although it was warned that its reopening will only take place when Civil aeronautics authorities, in coordination with representatives of airlines, estimate that air navigation is guaranteed. The airport reopened for private flights on Monday morning. There were explosions and ash plumes and a volcanic mudflow last month.

President Jimmy Morales has called for three days of national mourning following what officials say is the volcano's most intense eruption in more than four decades.

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

Rescue workers were hampered when roads were cut by the lava flows.

Some residents said they never learned of the danger until it was upon them - and were critical of authorities.

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"We had time to leave, thank God, but I am very sorry for the loss of my son and my daughter in law", he said through tears.

Cabanas said those who were killed had been overrun by fast-moving burning material discharged by the volcano Sunday.

Guatemala's airport in the capital city has closed down while many villagers are being evacuated.

The White House said in a statement that it was also dispatching aircraft to transport burn victims for treatment in Florida.

Israel and Guatemala have grown increasingly close in recent years. Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as their future capital and have been infuriated by the embassy moves.

Ash from the volcano, which lies about 27 miles (44 kilometres) west of Guatemala City, fell on the capital area as well as the departments of Sacatepequez, Chimaltenango and Escuintla.

At least 20 others people have been reported injured after the Fuego volcano erupted.

Eighteen dead bodies were found in San Miguel Los Lotes, another village near the volcano.

Rescuers are still trying to reach a number of villages and the death toll is expected to rise.

The Volcan de Fuego, Spanish for "volcano of fire", exploded in a hail of ash and molten rock shortly before noon Sunday, blanketing nearby villages in heavy ash.