June 04, 2018
Fuego spewed a five-mile stream of lava, burying dozens of communities and raining smoke and ash on other regions

At least 62 people, including three children, have been killed and nearly 300 injured in the most violent eruption of Guatemala’s Fuego volcano in more than four decades, officials said.
Fuego, whose name means “fire”, spewed an 8km (five-mile) stream of lava and belched a thick plume of black smoke and ash that rained on to the capital and other regions.
Dozens of communities on the southern slopes of Fuego were buried in a searing mix of mud, ash and rocks as the explosions continued for over 16 hours.
Fresh lava flows hampered search and rescue efforts on Monday, forcing emergency services to withdraw from the area. Hundreds of people remain unaccounted for.
Speaking on Monday, the head of Guatemala’s National Forensic Sciences Institute said 62 people had died, , but only 13 had been identified so far because the bodies were so badly disfigured by flows that reached temperatures as high as 1,300F (700C).
“We’re having a lot of trouble identifying them because some of the dead lost their features or their fingerprints. We’re going to have to use other anthropological methods and if possible take DNA samples to identify them.”
Guatemala volcano: at least 62 killed and 300 injured after Fuego erupts
Mario Cruz, spokesman for the volunteer firefighter corps, said 3,100 people had evacuated the area on Sunday. Around 1,400 people spent the night in makeshift shelters set up in schools and government buildings.
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President Jimmy Morales convened his ministers late on Sunday evening and declared a state of emergency in the departments of Chimaltenango, Escuintla and Sacatepéquez.
The speed and force of the pyroclastic flows – fast-moving mixtures of gas and volcanic matter – triggered deadly mudslides in the surrounding areas. The majority of confirmed victims so far were from San Miguel Los Lotes, El Rodeo, or Escuintla who died after homes were collapsed by a powerful torrent of lava and mud.

At least two of the deceased were killed after they stopped to watch the unfolding disaster, according to the national coordinator for disaster reduction.
Rescuers in helicopters managed to pull at least 10 people alive from ash drifts and mud flows that were up to the rooflines of some homes, forcing first responders to use sledgehammers to break through the roofs to see if anyone was trapped inside.
Initial rescue efforts had been led by volunteer fire fighters on Sunday afternoon as lava began flowing down the mountain’s flank and across homes and roads.
Dramatic images showed a fast-moving current of pyroclastic material and slurry, slamming into homes and bridges in and around the towns of Sacatepéquez and Escuintla, which were left charred.

Sunday’s eruption was the Fuego volcano’s most violent in four decades
Guatemala volcano: at least 62 killed and 300 injured after Fuego erupts
It is the second time the volcano has erupted this year, setting off loud explosions and spewing ash into the sky. Ash blanketed cars and houses in the nearby villages of San Pedro Yepocapa and Sangre de Cristo.
Lesser amounts of ash fell on Guatemala City, which is 44km (27 miles) from the volcano. The capital’s La Aurora international airport shut down its only runway.
Workers and guests were evacuated from the La Reunion golf club. A video circulating on social media showed a black cloud of ash rising from just beyond the golf club.
The huge plumes of smoke that could be seen from various parts of the country and the ash that rained down in four of Guatemala’s departments caused some alarm among residents.
“It is important to remain calm because the Fuego volcano erupts throughout the year,” said David de Leon, spokesman for the National Disaster Prevention Authority.
De Leon said a change in wind was to blame for the volcanic ash falling on parts of the city.
Eddy Sanchez, the director of Guatemala’s seismological, volcanic and meteorological institute, warned of the danger of mud flows, saying: “Temperatures in the pyroclastic flow can exceed 700 degrees [Celsius] and volcanic ash can rain down on a 15km (nine-mile) radius. That could cause more mud flows and nearby rivers to burst their banks.”
Domingo López, who escaped with burns on his feet, told local newspaper Prensa Libre that his community was covered in molten ash. “I cannot believe this, it’s never been so bad,” he said from a shelter.
An estimated 1.7 million people – just over 10% of the population – are at risk from ash, toxic gases and waste emanating from the eruption.
The government has declared three days of mourning.
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