Workers cautiously resume rescue efforts near Guatemala volcano

Aaron Brown
June 7, 2018

People gather at the Municipal stadium in Escuintla, about 35 km southwest of Guatemala City, on June 5, 2018 after the Fuego Volcano showed new activity. Meanwhile, the eruption that covered the area near the volcano with a mix of hot gas and volcanic flows and devoured whole communities on Sunday, resumed on Tuesday.

On Monday, when the volcano exploded in a massive cloud of ash and molten rock, Hernandez said her brother and sister ran to check on their 70-year-old grandmother on the family's plot of land in the village of San Miguel Los Lotes.

People praised the police officers on Twitter for the rescue.

"We are analyzing the terrain", said David de Leon, spokesperson for the disaster agency Conred.

A baby buried under ash after a volcanic eruption has miraculously survived.

A photo released by Guatemalan authorities shows buildings and trucks covered in white volcanic ash from the Volcán de Fuego (Volcano of Fire), seen erupting in the top-right image.

"We now have an accounting with names and towns where people have gone missing and we have a figure, which is 192 people who we have unaccounted for", Disaster Relief Agency chief Sergio Cabanas was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

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The rescue operation is expected to continue on Wednesday, and the toll may rise further.

The area was evacuated Tuesday afternoon when a new column of smoke rose from the Volcano of Fire and officials warned of increasing activity.

About 2,500 people were in shelters in Escuintla after being forced to flee their homes in surrounding villages.

"If you are trapped in a pyroclastic flow, it's hard to come out of it alive", he said, adding that people who may have been caught in the flow may never be found. "We are talking about a tragedy, a national mourning", Guatemala President Jimmy Morales said. "They are taking away our opportunity to say goodbye".

However, the prospects of finding any more survivors was poor, he said.

As rescuers work to search for almost 200 missing people, they're finding and rescuing pets as well.

Explosions from the volcano can be as high as 656 feet, the institute reported. At least 46 people have been injured.

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