Guatemala volcanic eruption kills 69

  • Guatemala volcanic eruption kills 69

Guatemala volcanic eruption kills 69

Volcanic ash blankets homes and trees near the Volcan de Fuego, or Volcano of Fire, where rescue workers gather in the El Rodeo hamlet of Escuintla, Guatemala.

Explosions boomed from the 3,763-metre volcano Wednesday, unleashing a new flow of unsafe volcanic material and forcing the rescuers to suspend the search for victims, Xinhua news agency reported. Authorities have said the window is closing on the chances of finding anyone else alive in the devastation.

Fanuel Garcia, director of the National Institute of Forensic Sciences, said 69 bodies had been recovered and 17 of those had been identified.

Sanchez, the Conred spokesman, said many dogs and cats had been rescued with burns on their paws from the mud and ash, some blinded from the volcanic gases.

Damage caused by the eruption in San Miguel Los Lotes in Escuintla, Guatemala, June 4, 2018.

The most recent official death count of 75 was reported by Guatemala's disaster agency Tuesday night.

"The sad news is there's a bunch of recovery of bodies of children and adults there". An Associated Press journalist witnessed five stretchers carrying bags containing human remains being carried out of Los Lotes. Soon, searing flows of lava, ash and rock mixed with water and debris were gushing down the volcano's flanks, blocking roads and burning homes.

A baby buried under ash after a volcanic eruption has miraculously survived.

Of the 75 confirmed dead, only 23 have been identified, including two girls between the ages of 3 and 6.

In his words: "Nobody is going to be able to get them out nor say how many are buried here".

David De Leon, Guatemala's national coordinator for disaster reduction, said the volcano's increased activity prompted evacuations of nearby communities, an exodus that the AP said was "setting off a panicky flight by people that stalled traffic in some areas". At least 3,271 people have been displaced and 2,625 relocated to temporary shelters.

"When the lava was already here they passed by in their pickup trucks yelling at us to leave, but the cars did not stop to pick up the people", Letran said.

Diaz added that she did a cut for one woman who had several inches of her singed.

Many people were separated from or forced to abandon family that was trapped by the debris, including young children.

Around 10:15 local time, images of the TN 23 news channel showed rescuers running to save their lives before a new threat of activity by the colossus, which woke up last Sunday with the most powerful eruption since 1979.

Everyone was accustomed to the volcano, one of Central America's most active, rumbling and spewing smoke, the 33-year-old farm worker said, so at first nothing seemed abnormal on Sunday.

Sirens from emergency vehicles filled the air Tuesday as rescuers were withdrawn from the hardest hit communities because of new flows of super-heated volcanic material.