The volcano west of Guatemala City exploded on Monday morning, sending towering clouds of ash kilometres into the air and hot flows of ash mixed with water and debris down its flanks, blocking roads and burning homes.
Reuters writes: "The charred bodies of victims laid on the steaming, ashen remnants of a pyroclastic flow as rescuers attended to badly injured victims".
Sunday marked the second eruption this year for the 3,763-metre volcano.
Hilda Lopez said the volcanic mud flowed into her village of San Miguel Los Lotes, close to the mountain.
National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conred) chief Sergio Cabanas did not rule out the number of dead increasing, as there are "missing persons, but we do not know how many".
FILE: A soldier carries a child covered with ash after Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted violently in El Rodeo, Guatemala 3 June 2018.
"Where we saw the lava fall, we ran to a hillside" to escape, she added. "I think they ended up buried", Consuelo Hernandez, a resident of the village of El Rodeo, told the newspaper Diario de Centroamerica.
This eruption is Guatemala's deadliest such event since 1902, when an eruption of the Santa Maria volcano killed thousands of people.
One video published by news outlet Telediario, purportedly taken in the El Rodeo village, showed three bodies strewn atop the remnants of the flow as rescuers arrived to attend to an elderly man caked from head to toe in ash and mud.
The eruption forced the Guatemala City's La Aurora worldwide airport to shut down its only runway due to the presence of volcanic ash and to guarantee passenger and aircraft safety, Guatemala's civil aviation authority said in a Tweet.
Volcán de Fuego (Volcano of fire) - one of the most active volcanoes in Central America - is located about 27 miles from Guatemala City.
Workers and guests were evacuated from La Reunion golf club near Antigua as a black cloud of ash rose from just beyond the club's limits.
"As soon as we received the information around 6 a.m. that the volcano was in an eruptive phase, the protocol was initiated to verify with different sectors and also talk to the communities, to community leaders", De Leon said.
City workers sweep volcanic ash in Guatemala City.
Explosions are still coming from the volcano, said Eddy Sanchez, director of the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology.
Dozens more are missing, the country's disaster agency says.
People flee El Rodeo village, about 35 km south of Guatemala City, after the eruption.
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