Dozens Killed as Volcano Erupts in Guatemala

The country's President says it's a 'catastrophe'

Officials in Guatemala say more than 60 people are now known to have died, following a huge volcanic eruption. 

"It's a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the Rodeo village.

There are injured, burned and dead people," said Sergio Cabanas, head of Guatemala's disaster agency (Conred).

He said four people had died when lava set a house on fire and two children were killed while standing on a bridge watching the eruption.

The death toll reached 62 late yesterday, including at least three children, but that number is expected to rise. Nearly 300 are believed to have been injured.

Around 3,100 people have been evacuated from nearby communities according to authorities and two million people are believed to have been affected. 

The country's President says it's a 'catastrophe'. 

Volcan de Fuego - which means "Volcano of Fire" in English - is 25 miles (40km) southwest of the capital, Guatemala City.

It began exploding shortly before noon local time (7pm Irish time) on Sunday spewing lava and covering cars, roads and houses with ash and smoke. Eddy Sanchez, director of the country's seismology and volcanology institute, said the lava flows reached temperatures of about 700C (1,300F).

A red alert has been set up in the areas most affected by the eruption, and an orange alert is in place throughout the country.