New evacuations near Guatemala volcano leads to panic

Women mourn as the coffins of seven people who died following the eruption of the Fuego volcano are carried along the streets of Alotenango

Women mourn as the coffins of seven people who died following the eruption of the Fuego volcano are carried along the streets of Alotenango

Guatemalan authorities on Wednesday warned the Fuego volcano was showing signs of greater activity as the death toll from a devastating eruption at the weekend climbed to 75 and nearly 200 people remained missing.

At least 75 people have been confirmed dead as a result Sunday's eruption of the volcano, which sent super-hot material flowing down the mountain's sides. "We are talking about a tragedy, a national mourning", Guatemala President Jimmy Morales said.

Diego Ibarguen, who works for a local firefighter support organisation, said: "Basically there's no houses left, and to my assumption there's nobody left there. except the people doing the search and rescue".

Rescue teams in Guatemala are searching through debris and ash, looking for any survivors of a fiery volcano as the death toll continues to rise.

Soldiers inspect an area affected by the eruption of the Fuego volcano in the community of San Miguel Los Lotes in Escuintla.

On Tuesday, Fuego volcano erupted again, unleashing a new flow of unsafe volcanic material.

Sunday's eruption is the country's largest since 1902 when an explosion from the Santa Maria volcano killed thousands of people.

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

Residents of several communities gather in a temporary shelter in Escuintla, June 3, 2018, after the eruption of the Volcan de Fuego or Volcano of Fire.

Volcan de Fuego, or "Volcano of Fire", released a white plume of smoke as firefighters carried a stretcher during their rescue and recovery efforts in El Rodeo, Guatemala, today.

Villages on the slopes were buried in volcanic ash and mud. "You have to be prepared, for the children", he said.

Many of them were seen asking rescuers to give them a chance to identify the dead bodies before declaring them unidentified.

It was covered in what he described as a "sea" of muck that came crashing into homes, smothering people, pets and wildlife.

In his words: "Nobody is going to be able to get them out nor say how many are buried here".

'We already have data with names and locations where there are missing persons and that number is 192, ' Sergio Cabanas, head of Guatemala's disaster management agency, told reporters.

At least 62 bodies have been recovered, with dozens more people missing.

Officials said the intense heat of the volcanic debris only allowed rescuers to identify 17 bodies, and others were unrecognizable.

He also assured his closeness to the wounded and to those who are "working tirelessly to help the victims while asking the Lord to "bestow upon them all the gifts of solidarity, spiritual serenity and Christian hope".

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