Lava- and ash-ravaged landscape in Guatemala after volcano eruption

Jun 10, 2018, 04:17
Lava- and ash-ravaged landscape in Guatemala after volcano eruption

The National Institute of Forensic Sciences raised the death toll to 99 late in the afternoon - an increase of 24 bodies for the day.

Located 50 kilometers west of the capital, the volcano woke up for second time this year on Sunday, June 3, with one of the most powerful eruptions since 1954.

At least 99 people have been confirmed killed by the eruption, a number that is expected to rise further with almost 200 still missing.

As of Wednesday, only 25 bodies had been recovered and identified.

Oscar Chavez trekked over a mountain with his father and younger brother to search for his brother Edgar, sister-in-law Sandra and 4-year-old nephew Josue in the hamlet of San Miguel Los Lotes, which was nearly entirely wiped out by the volcanic flows.

Associated Press journalists in Guatemala have seen workers carrying five stretchers of human remains out of San Miguel Los Lotes near the Volcano of Fire. "They did not care and they did not take precautions".

"Nobody is going to be able to get them out or say how many are buried here", Efrain Suarez, a 59-year-old truck driver helping with the rescue efforts at the devastated village of San Miguel Los Lotes, told the AP. Guatemala is also home to 16.3 million people with more than 9% of the population living below the worldwide poverty line.

SAN MIGUEL LOS LOTES, Guatemala Guatemala's national disaster agency on Thursday suspended search and rescue efforts at the zone devastated by the eruption of the Volcano of Fire, saying climatic conditions and still-hot volcanic material makes it risky for the rescuers. "And if heavy machinery comes in they will be torn apart".

On an open-air patio at Murray D. Lincoln school in the nearby city of Escuintla, several people sat on plastic chairs covered by aprons as volunteers attended to them Wednesday.

These funds will help "Guatemala Red Cross support 3,000 of the most vulnerable survivors for three months", they added.

CONRED spokesman David de Leon announced the suspension of rescue work and recommended that residents stay away from the still-dangerous area.

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