The death toll following the eruption of Guatemala's Fuego volcano has risen to 62, officials have said, with around 300 others injured. 

Only 13 of the dead have been identified so far, Mirna Zeledon, a spokeswoman for Guatemala's National Institute of Forensic Sciences said.

The eruption of Fuego - Spanish for "fire" - was the biggest in more than four decades, forcing the closure of Guatemala's main international airport and dumping ash on thousands of acres of coffee farms on the volcano's slopes.

The Guatemala Disaster Agency also said at least two million people would be affected due to the blast. 

Previous estimates had shown at least 38 people, including at least three children, had been killed.

Volcan de Fuego, whose name means "Volcano of Fire", spewed an 8-kilometre stream of red hot lava and belched a thick plume of black smoke and ash that rained onto the capital and other regions.

The charred bodies of victims laid on the steaming, ashen remnants of a pyroclastic flow as rescuers attended to badly injured victims in the aftermath of the eruption.

It was the volcano's second eruption this year.

"It's a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the El Rodeo village. There are injured, burned and dead people," Sergio Cabanas, the general secretary of Guatemala's CONRED national disaster management agency, said on radio.


CONRED said more than 3,100 people had been evacuated from the area.

Officials said the dead were so far all concentrated in three towns: El Rodeo, Alotenango and San Miguel los Lotes.

Rescue operations were due to resume since midday Irish time, following suspension because of dangerous conditions and inclement weather, a spokesman for the municipal firefighters department said.

Dozens of videos appeared on social media and Guatemalan TV showing the extent of the devastation.

One video published 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.

"Unfortunately El Rodeo was buried and we haven't been able to reach the La Libertad village because of the lava and maybe there are people that died there too," said Mr Cabanas said.

In another video, a visibly exhausted woman, her face blackened from ash, said she had narrowly escaped as lava poured through corn fields.

"Not everyone escaped, I think they were buried," she told news outlet Diario de Centroamerica.

Steaming lava flowed down the streets of a village as emergency crews entered homes in search of trapped residents, another video on a different media outlet showed.

President Jimmy Morales said he had convened his ministers and was considering declaring a state of emergency in a number of departments.

The eruption forced Guatemala City's La Aurora international 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 on Twitter.

The volcano is some 40km southwest of the capital, Guatemala City, and is close to the colonial city of Antigua, which is popular with tourists and is known for its coffee plantations.