Twenty-five confirmed dead after Guatemala volcano erupts

The eruption also forced the Guatemala City's La Aurora worldwide airport to shut down its only runway.

Authorities expected the death toll to rise Sunday as the volcano continued to spew ash and hot lava into the late evening hours.

The president said he and his government would determine whether to ask Congress to declare a state of emergency in the areas, while at the same time appealing to the population for calm.

A river of lava destroyed homes and burnt people inside as the Fuego volcano pumped black smoke into skies southwest of Guatemala City this morning.

This eruption is the biggest since 1974, according to local experts.

Cabanas said that the dead included a civil protection official and others trapped by muddy material that descended from the 3 763m volcano.

Sergio Cabanas of the National Disaster prevention committee spoke to Reuters and informed that people have been burned and killed including a member of his staff.

Another victim was found in the streets of El Rodeo by volunteer firefighters and later died in an ambulance.

Videos published by local media show bodies lying on top of a lava flow and rescuers attending to people covered in ash.

Hundreds of rescue workers, including firefighters, police and soldiers, worked to rescue any survivors and recover any more bodies amid the still-smoking lava.

"Not everyone escaped, I think they were buried", Consuelo Hernandez said.

It is the second major eruption this year from the peak, following another that subsided at the beginning of February after sending ash towering 1.7km into the sky.

Search and rescue operations for the missing and dead have been suspended due to low light and risky conditions, and will resume early on Monday morning, the spokesperson said. The news outlet also said the Guatemalan military was providing help which includes clearing volcanic ash from La Aurora airport's runway.

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

David de León, spokesman for the disaster agency, said about 300 people had evacuated the area around the volcano.

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