Children burned by Guatemala volcano arriving in Galveston for treatment

07 June, 2018, 04:53 | Author: Carlos George
  • Children burned by Guatemala volcano arriving in Galveston for treatment

At least 75 people have died and almost 200 are missing in Guatemala after a second round of eruptions at Mount Fuego that scattered ash over a wide area and forced authorities to issue new evacuations.

A baby miraculously survived after a house was covered in ash.

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

It produced its biggest eruption in more than four decades on Sunday, showering ash on a wide area and sending lava flows through nearby towns. Cabanas says some of the missing people could be among the unidentified bodies. The fiery volcanic eruption in south-central Guatemala killed scores as rescuers struggled to reach people where homes and roads were charred and blanketed with ash.

The last census of the areas on Fuego's foothills was conducted in 2002, so authorities have no real sense of how many people might still be trapped or missing.

The latest activity has been mostly on the far side of the volcano, facing the Pacific coast.

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Conred spokesman David de Leon said the volcano first erupted around midday on Sunday, billowing smoke and ash miles into the sky. Left, rescue workers run for cover as the volcano blows more clouds of ash in the village of El Rodeo in Escuintla, Guatemala .

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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.

Sergio Cabanas, director of the disaster agency, said Tuesday night at a news conference that 192 people were listed as missing.

Guatemalan children who were seriously burned in a deadly volcanic eruption in their home country will be brought to the United States for treatment, officials said.

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. 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.

Volcanologist Dr Janine Krippner told the BBC that people should not underestimate the risk from pyroclastic flows and volcanic mudflows, known as lahars.

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

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