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Workers cautiously resume rescue efforts near Guatemala volcano

07 June, 2018, 09:33 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Guatemala volcano death toll up to 62 expected to rise

What was once a collection of green canyons, hillsides and farms was reduced to grey devastation by fast-moving avalanches of super-heated muck that roared into the tightly knit villages on the mountain's flanks.

Rescue workers remove piles of ash spewed by the Volcan de Fuego, or "Volcano of Fire", eruption, in El Rodeo, Guatemala on Wednesday.

In the first few hours, the ash and mud was so hot, rescuers had a hard time reaching victims and by the time they made it out to some of them it was too late.

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

Indigenous authorities from Solola waits to joining to rescue work near Volcan de Fuego, or Volcano of Fire in Escuintla, Guatemala, Tuesday, June 5, 2018.

Rescuers, police and journalists hurried to leave the area as a siren wailed and loudspeakers blared, "Evacuate".

Asked about that possibility, the director of Guatemala's disaster agency, Sergio Cabanas, said: "Not until the search efforts are over, and it would be left up to the people".

Hundreds of people were evacuated from seven communities in the Escuintla area near the summit, as panicked locals rushed to their cars to escape, causing chaotic traffic.

"President Buhari considers Guatemala as one of the closest allies Nigeria has in Central America and will, therefore, always share and identify with any development, progress or tragedy, with the government and the people of Guatemala", the letter said.

A man covered with ash after the eruption of the Fuego volcano, in San Miguel Los Lotes in Escuintla.

An Agence France-Presse (AFP) photographer witnessed a large plume of ash rise into the sky, prompting an evacuation of everyone authorities could find before the police, the military and rescuers were stood down.

The National Forensic Sciences Agency said only 28 of the dead have been identified so far. After the eruption, people say they had to build an impromptu bridge over hot ashes to try and get the injured the help they need.

Thousands of people were affected by the volcanic eruption, with about 3,500 seeking refuge in shelters. "They are taking away our opportunity to say goodbye".

Firefighters said the chance of finding anyone alive amid the still-steaming terrain was practically nonexistent 72 hours after Sunday's volcanic explosion.

A volcanic flow swept through El Rodeo and San Miguel Los Lotes on Sunday, burying homes up to rooftops.

Many people have been displaced by the eruption.

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