Guatemala Volcano Toll Rises To 75, 200 Still Missing

Guatemala Volcano Toll Rises To 75, 200 Still Missing

Guatemala Volcano Toll Rises To 75, 200 Still Missing

Volcán de Fuego is a 12,356-foot stratovolcano with steep sides, while the 4,000-foot Kilauea is a much wider shield volcano.

It sent huge clouds of ash barrelling over the surrounding area, blanketing roads, cars and people in thick grey dust as a river of molten mud carved a path down the mountain, sweeping away entire villages. This number is expected to rise as much of the area is still too hot for rescue crews to search for bodies.

Alfonso Castillo, a 33-year-old farm worker, said nothing seemed abnormal on Sunday - but then the situation became significantly more unsafe.

Guatemala's disaster agency issued new evacuation orders for some nearby communities Tuesday afternoon, setting off a panicky flight by people that stalled traffic in some areas.

Rescuers, police and journalists hurried to leave the area as a siren wailed and loudspeakers blared, "Evacuate".

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

People were killed inside their homes as a result.

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

The speed of the eruption took locals by surprise, and could be explained by it producing pyroclastic flows, sudden emissions of gas and rock fragments, rather than lava, said volcanologist David Rothery of Britain's Open University.

Figures for the dead were tweeted by Guatemala's National Institute of Forensic Sciences.

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.

The manhunt is continuing as national disaster agency, CONRED, said nearly 200 people are still missing. My children say they would rather be in the streets. 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. "There are places where you stick the pickaxe or rod in and we see a lot of smoke coming out and fire and it's impossible to keep digging because we could die", said 25-year-old rescuer Diego Lorenzana.

Only 17 of the bodies recovered so far have been identified due to the extreme heat that charred their features and burned off fingerprints, and authorities hope other means such as DNA testing can help. About 3,500 were in shelters, many with their homes and livelihoods destroyed.

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