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At least 7 dead, injured in Guatemala volcano eruption

At least seven people have been killed and 296 others injured in Guatemala, as a highly active volcano near the country's capital erupted for the second time this year, authorities said Sunday.

About 1.7 million people have been affected by the eruption and more than 3,000 evacuated, the Guatemalan government tweeted.

Fuego volcano, located about 50 kilometers west of the capital of Guatemala City, exploded around noon local time, and lava began flowing down in the afternoon.

According to a preliminary report from the National Coordination for Disaster Reduction of Guatemala (CONRED), the eruption is "the strongest one recorded in recent years".

CONRED said the eruption has caused a column of ash more than 11 kilometers above sea level, and generated strong rumblings with waves that caused vibration in roofs and windows at a distance of 20 kilometers.

The civil aviation authority of Guatemala announced a temporary closure of operations at Guatemala City's international airport due to the presence of volcanic ash.

Xinhua Net / PNA