Guatemala’s Fuego volcano disaster: Latest updates

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Dozens are dead and thousands have been evacuated after the most violent eruption of Guatemala‘s Fuego volcano in more than four decades.

Volcan de Fuego, or Volcano of Fire, spewed an 8km stream of red-hot lava and shot out a thick plume of black smoke and ash that rained down onto the capital, Guatemala City, and other regions on Sunday.

Here are the latest updates:

Monday, June 4

  • The head of Guatemala’s disaster agency said 33 people have been confirmed killed in the volcano’s eruption, and the death toll is expected to rise further.

  • A deadly pyroclastic flow – which can travel down a mountain at speeds of more than 100km/h – shot from the volcano and is likely the cause of most deaths, volcanologist David Rothery told Al Jazeera. 

  • hot flow of mud, ash and gas swept down from Fuego after a new blast on Monday morning that interrupted disaster workers pulling bodies from the brown sludge that engulfed the village of El Rodeo in southern Guatemala.
  • “There is this volcano dust everywhere … There are a lot of people here trying to recover bodies or searching for the missing,” said Al Jazeera’s David Mercer, reporting from the scene. 

  • Fuego is one of Central America’s most active volcanos. It was the second eruption this year and the biggest in decades. 

Translation: National Civil Police continue the search and rescue of people who have been hurt by # VolcanDeFuego in the village El Rodeo in Escuintla. So far they have rescued children and adults. – Guatemalan National Police 

  • Guatemalan officials say more than 3,200 people have been evacuated after the volcanic eruption.

  • “We saw the lava was pouring through the corn fields and we ran towards a hill,” Consuelo Hernandez, a survivor, told Al Jazeera.

    • Translation: #VolcanDeFuego Resources and humanitarian assistance are being carried out in order to help people affected by the eruption of the Fuego volcano. – National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction in Guatemala

Sunday, June 3 

  • Authorities in Guatemala say 18 more people have been confirmed killed by a volcanic eruption, raising the death toll to 25.

  • Disaster agency spokesman David de Leon said late Sunday the bodies were found in the community of San Miguel Los Lotes. 

  • Rescuers have struggled to reach rural residents cut off by the eruption, which also wounded at least 20. Authorities have been unable to account for an undetermined number of people and say they fear the death toll could rise.

  • The Volcan de Fuego, or “volcano of fire”, exploded in a hail of ash and molten rock shortly before noon Sunday, blanketing nearby villages in heavy ash. 


SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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