Thousands flee as Guatemala’s Volcano of Fire erupts again

Larry Hoffman
June 7, 2018

Volcán de Fuego, or "volcano of fire", has killed at least 99 people, and hundreds more are missing.

Fuego's eruption was much more violent, and mostly took place through one main vent near its summit, while Kilauea's magma has moved underground for miles before popping up through dozens of fissures spread across the area.

Hernandez lost 36 family members in all, missing and presumed dead in the town of San Miguel Los Lotes after the fiery volcanic eruption of the Volcan de Fuego, or Volcano of Fire, in south-central Guatemala.

Sunday's blast generated pyroclastic flows - fast-moving mixtures of very hot gas and volcanic matter - which descended down the slopes, engulfing communities including El Rodeo and San Miguel Los Lotes.

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. Within 24 hours of the first eruption over the weekend, Shriners says an emergency medical team from its Galveston hospital was sent to provide care in Guatemala, where they've been working for days. Some 46 people were injured, around half of whom are in serious condition, it said.

The Fuego volcano erupted yesterday, sending lahars down the side of the mountain and huge plumes of ash into the air.

It was covered in what he described as a "sea" of muck that came crashing into homes, smothering people, pets and wildlife.

An elderly man, who was featured in a video shortly after the eruption that showed him in a state of shock, caked from head to toe in ash and mud, died from the severe burns he suffered. The searing hot volcanic material that covered communities near the volcano left numerous bodies unrecognizable so DNA testing or other methods will be necessary for identification. Rescuers were evacuated from those areas with the new flows Tuesday afternoon.

Guatemala's National Institute of Forensic Sciences has raised the death toll from Sunday's eruption of the Volcano of Fire to 75.

Experts warned Wednesday that heavy rains in the area could provoke avalanches due to the large flows of volcanic mud, known as lahars, since the eruption on Sunday.

The institute warned people on Wednesday to be alert and avoid the area.

In one shelter, people displaced by the volcano were given free haircuts by student hair stylists.

"Mr. President, my family is missing".

A soldier stands guard at a search and rescue site near the Volcan de Fuego, or 'Volcano of Fire, ' in Escuintla, Guatemala, Monday, June 4, 2018.

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