ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Death Toll Rises to 99 in Guatemala Volcano Eruption

So far only 28 of the dead have been identified, a report by the National Forensics Sciences Agency said. 

Updated
World
2 min read
Aa
Aa
Small
Aa
Medium
Aa
Large

Video Producer: Shivaditya Srivastava
Video Editor: Vishal Kumar

At least 99 people were killed in the eruption of Guatemala's Fuego volcano, which buried several villages on its southern flank, authorities said on Thursday, 7 June.

The National Forensic Sciences Agency said in a report that morgues had received the remains of 99 people killed as a result of the eruption.

So far only 28 of the dead have been identified, it said.

Some 200 people are still missing, amid fears of a new blowup of the 3,763-metre volcano.

Seven communities in already devastated areas were evacuated as the volcano's activity increased, with rescue operations halted.

In the city of Escuintla, near the summit, panicked locals rushed to their cars to escape, causing chaotic traffic.

An AFP photographer witnessed a large plume of ash rise into the sky, prompting an evacuation of everyone authorities could find before the police, the military and rescuers were stood down.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD
A total of 192 people remain missing since the weekend eruptions, disaster relief agency chief Sergio Cabanas told reporters.

The search for bodies in mountain villages destroyed by the eruption was progressing slowly, officials said earlier, given the nature of the terrain and the way the volcano released large amounts of boiling mud, rock and ash down the mountain.

“We will continue until we find the last victim, though we do not know how many there are. We will probe the area as many times as necessary,” Cabanas told AFP.

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

"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.

One of the victims was a 42-year-old woman who died in hospital having lost both legs and an arm in the eruption.

When last reported, some 46 people were injured, around half of whom are in serious condition.

The 3,763-metre volcano erupted early Sunday, 3 June, spewing out towering plumes of ash and a hail of fiery rock fragments with scalding mud.

Authorities said more than 1.7 million people had been affected by the disaster, including more than 3,000 ordered evacuated, many living in shelters in Escuintla, Sacatepequez and Chimaltenango since the eruption on Sunday, 3 June.

0
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.

President Jimmy Morales, who has declared three days of national mourning, has visited the disaster zone.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was deeply saddened by the "tragic loss of life and the significant damage caused by the eruption," and said the UN was ready to assist national rescue and relief efforts.

(Published in an arrangement with PTI.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from news and world

Topics:  Guatemala   Volcano Eruption 

Published: 
Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More
×
×