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giftedviz.com October 23, 2018


At Guatemala volcano, weather and danger hinder search

10 June 2018, 04:15 | Darnell Patrick

EPAFunerals have begun for the 99 confirmed dead so far

Funeral procession

Emergency crews pulled more bodies from what remained of villages devastated by the eruption of Guatemala's Volcano of Fire on Wednesday, but time was quickly running out to find survivors as the confirmed death toll rose to 99 with almost 200 still missing.

Officials said the speed and ferocity of the eruption took mountain communities by surprise, with numerous dead found in or around their homes.

Associated Press journalists in Guatemala have seen workers carrying five stretchers of human remains out of San Miguel Los Lotes near the Volcano of Fire.

The children died in the town of San Miguel Los Lotes.

Troublesome downpours and more volcanic activity had been hindering searches, but when teams have been able to work in the hardest hit areas, the death toll has continued to tick upward.

The United States is sending emergency aid, including financial resources, to help meet food, water and sanitation needs for victims affected by the eruption of Guatemala's Volcano of Fire.

About 10 police officers saw what the family was doing and came to help, bringing more robust tools.

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The family holed up in a house that heated up "like a boiler" inside, he said, then made their way onto the roof and then to the upper story of another, concrete home.

Oscar Chavez trekked over a mountain Thursday with his father and younger brother.

On an open-air patio at Murray D. Lincoln school in the nearby city of Escuintla, several people sat on plastic chairs covered by aprons as volunteers attended to them Wednesday.

"My father, my mother, my sisters are there", she said, upset over rescuers' decision to suspend their search. "We will have to resort to other anthropological methods and if it is possible to take DNA samples to identify them". She adds that it's "not right" to leave their bodies there.

Hospital officials began working with Guatemalan and USA officials to mobilize this effort within 24 hours of the disaster, so the victims would be able to get immediate treatment and care.

Still-hot volcanic material and the threat of heavy rains displacing loose deposits were posing a serious risk to the safety of emergency workers, said agency spokesman David de Leon. The White House said the U.S. was sending emergency aid "to help meet food, water and sanitation needs for the affected population".



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