A volcano erupted in Guatemala on Sunday, killing at least 25 people and injuring 20 as a cloud of smoke coated nearby villages in heavy ash.
One of the most active volcanoes in Central America, Volcan de Fuego (Spanish for “volcano of fire") is located about 27 miles from Guatemala City.
Some 3,100 people evacuated nearby communities, and the eruption was affecting an area with a population of about 1.7 million people. Shelters were opened for those forced to flee.
“It’s a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the Rodeo village. There are injured, burned and dead people,” Sergio Cabanas, the general secretary of Guatemala’s Conred disaster agency, said on radio, according to the Guardian.
Social media posts showed photos and videos of people perilously close to the eruption, which one volcanologist warned strongly against:
"This is a deadly eruption," tweeted volcanologist Janine Krippner of Concord University. "This is an awful place to be, if you are ever around an erupting volcano like this and you see a cloud moving along the ground towards you, RUN. GET OUT OF THERE!."
Officials fear more people may be dead or injured.
Contributing: The Associated Press