Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

75 killed, 192 missing after Guatemala’s volcano spews more ash & mudflows

75 killed, 192 missing after Guatemala’s volcano spews more ash & mudflows

A new explosion at Guatemala's Fuego volcano prompted emergency services to order evacuations from the surrounding areas on Tuesday, as the death toll from the eruption rose further.

Rescue workers run for cover as the Volcan de Fuego, or "Volcano of Fire", blows more clouds of ash in the El Rodeo hamlet of Escuintla, Guatemala, Tuesday.

National disaster agency CONRED ordered evacuations and said that hot gas and molten rock were streaming from the volcano.

More than 70 deaths have been reported since the volcano, whose name means "fire" in Spanish, erupted on Sunday.

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Nearly 200 people remained missing after Fuego's most devastating eruption in more than four decades sent huge clouds of ash and rock known as pyroclastic flows down the mountain, burying villagers under tonnes of debris.

More than 3,200 people have been evacuated and about 2,000 are sheltered in Escuintla and Sacatepéquez, which together with Chimaltenango are the communities most affected.

The search for bodies in mountain villages destroyed by the eruption was progressing slowly, officials said earlier, given the nature of the terrain and the way the volcano released large amounts of boiling mud, rock and ash down the mountain.

The eruption on Sunday sent columns of ash and smoke 6.2 miles (10 km) into the sky, dusting several regions with ash.

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Only some communities in Escuintla are under an evacuation order, but even in the more distant central Escuintla businesses have closed and people are leaving.

"Any type of disaster like this is a blow to people emotionally and everyone here loves their country", Wallace says. The institute said that 23 of those recovered bodies had been identified.

It is Guatemala's deadliest volcanic eruption for more than a century.

A spokesman for Guatemala's firefighters, said that once it reaches 72 hours after the eruption, there will be little chance of finding anyone alive.

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"The conditions are extremely critical at this moment", Eddy Sanchez, director of Guatemala's National Institute of Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology, said.

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