Guatemala volcano death toll soars as rescuers search mud and ash

Guatemala volcano death toll soars as rescuers search mud and ash

Dramatic footage shows a woman emerging from the ashes of Guatemala's Volcán de Fuego saying that while she managed to escape, her entire family and neighbors were likely wiped out by a rogue lava flow.

Around 3,100 residents of communities near the volcano were eventually moved, and 20 sent to the hospital, according to Guatemala's CONRED national disaster management agency. "You're dead, it's so hot it sweeps past you, you die", Rothery said. Volcan del Fuego is one of the most active volcanoes in Central America. At least 20 others were wounded and still more were missing.

Authorities said at least six people were dead or missing following the eruption.

Residents of several communities rest in a temporary shelter in Escuintla department south of Guatemala City on June 3, 2018.

The volcano erupted previously this year, in February.

Few of the bodies have yet been identified because the intense heat left them unrecognizable.

The volcano's name translates as "Volcano of Fire".

While it's called a ring, Janine Krippner, a volcanologist at Concord University in West Virginia, says the volcanoes are not really connected.

Sacatepezuez television showed images of the volcano's damage including the charred landscape and three bodies laid partially buried in ash-colored debris from the volcano.

This is the second major eruption from Volcan de Fuego this year.

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The most well-known example of the consequences of a pyroclastic flow can be found in Italy where the two Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum were covered under a thick blanket of ash in 79 AD.

The volcano exploded Sunday, sending ash high into the sky and lava flows cascading into rural hamlets on the mountain's slopes.

Guatemala's airport in the capital city has closed down while many villagers are being evacuated.

The volcano spewed black smoke and ash into the sky, prompting the evacuation of some 100 people and forcing the capital's La Aurora worldwide airport to shut down its only runway.

Volcanic ash has fallen as far as Guatemala City.

The volcano, one of the most active in Central America, is located 27 miles southwest of Guatemala City, about 10 miles from the popular tourist destination of Antigua Guatemala. Firefighters reported being unable to reach people trapped in areas cut off by the lava.

That meant unsuspecting villagers - such as those in the community of El Rodeo - were suddenly overwhelmed by ash, lava fragments and gases speeding toward them at 435 miles per hour (700 kph).

Some locals said they never learned of the danger until it was upon them - and were critical of authorities.

The representative of the National Coordination for Disaster Reduction of Guatemala, David de Leon, told Sputnik that the country hoped to tackle the consequences of the natural disaster with its own resources, despite the readiness of many states to offer their assistance.

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