Published: Sat, June 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Guatemala warns of greater activity after volcano explodes again

Guatemala warns of greater activity after volcano explodes again

Municipal firefighters search for victims in the ash-covered village of San Miguel Los Lotes, in Escuintla Department, about 35 km southwest of Guatemala City, on June 6, 2018.

The disaster management agency CONRED tweeted that volcanic "activity continues" and that it did not exclude "a new downflow of pyroclastic material ... in the coming hours or days".

Time is running out for emergency services trying to find survivors from the volcanic eruption in Guatemala, with 99 people confirmed dead and almost 200 still missing.

At least 99 fatalities have been confirmed after the massive eruption of the Fuego volcano in Guatemala, up from the previous estimate of 75, the Guatemalan disaster and forensic agency says.

Thick grey ash covering the stricken region has been hardened by rainfall, making it even more hard to dig through the debris that buried homes up to their rooftops.

"We were suffocating, couldn't breathe", said Maria Gomez.

Emergency corps had to evacuate the so-called zone 0 of the tragedy today, in response to new rumbles and columns of smoke that emerge from the Fuego volcano, which apparently refuses to give peace to Guatemala.

That brings to 85 the number of dead.

Oscar Chavez trekked over a mountain with his father and younger brother to search for his brother Edgar, sister-in-law Sandra and nephew Josue in the hamlet of San Miguel Los Lotes, which was nearly entirely wiped out by the volcanic flows. They have not been heard from since the eruption.

"It's impossible to keep digging because we could die". "So, better for us to come here".

Firefighters search an area affected by the eruption of the Volcan de Fuego to look for bodies and survivors in the community of San Miguel Los Lotes in Escuintla, Guatemala, June 4, 2018. Bulldozers and heavy machinery clearing the ash is even visible in the images.

President Jimmy Morales has been criticised on social media for passively waiting to react to offers of worldwide aid.

"They are cleaning the highway - the president has commitments to businesspeople".

"The government and people of Guatemala are in our thoughts and prayers", he said.

David De Leon, Guatemala's National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction said due to the volcano's increased activity evacuations of nearby communities were being carried out, an exodus that the AP said was "setting off a panicky flight by people that stalled traffic in some areas". "They were huddled together in the bed, like they were trying to hide from what was happening".

Hundreds of individuals displaced by the eruption have sought refuge in shelters, a lot of them of with lifeless or lacking family members and going through an unsure future, unable to return to houses destroyed by the volcano.

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