In this case, the adjacent Cocos Plate is subducting under the Caribbean Plate, according to a 2017 report from the Complutense University of Madrid.
Cabanas said four people, including a disaster agency official, died when lava set a house on fire in El Rodeo village and two children were burned to death while standing on a bridge watching the volcano's second eruption this year.
Searing flows of ash mixed with water and debris down its flanks, blocking roads and burning homes.
"Conred [the country's disaster agency] never told us to leave".
"We were at a party, celebrating the birth of a baby, when one of the neighbours shouted at us to come out and see the lava that was coming", the distraught woman said.
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.
The eruption was visible even from space, as satellite footage showed the massive dark gray ash cloud.
"Currently the volcano continues to erupt and there exists a high potential for (pyroclastic) avalanches of debris", the disaster agency said late Sunday via Twitter, quoting Sanchez, the director of the seismology and volcanology institute.
The agency warned that residents should be on alert for new eruptions, the spread of volcanic ash, and mudslides with volcanic material.
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The Guatemala eruption stirred recent memories of Hawaii's Kilauea eruption, which terrorized Big Island on May 3.
The task of pulling out bodies was halting, after the new eruption and an apparent landslide on the southern slopes of Fuego triggered fresh evacuations.
Unlike the Hawaii volcano, which has destroyed homes with slow-moving lava, the Fuego volcano unleashed fast-moving pyroclastic flow - a nasty mix of ash, rock and volcanic gases that can be much more unsafe than lava.
CONRED said the eruption lasted more than 16 hours before quieting.
The villages were right on the foothills of the mountain, making it hard to escape. "So they had no time (to escape)". It sits on the Ring of Fire, a 25,000-mile horseshoe-shaped area where several tectonic plates rub against each other, creating intense volcanic activity and earthquakes.
The Fuego Volcano in eruption, seen from Alotenango municipality, Sacatepequez department, about 40 miles southwest of Guatemala City.
The tremor struck around 105km (105,000 metres) south-west of Champerico, a port town popular with tourists on Guatemala's noth-west coast. "We are going to have to resort to other methods ... and if possible take DNA samples to identify them".
Villages south of the volcano in the Escuintla department were affected, too, Cabañas said.
Dense ash blasted out by the volcano shut down Guatemala City's global airport, civil aviation officials said. Officers were clearing the runway with brooms, in images shared by the Guatemalan army.