GUATEMALA CITY, July 4, 2018 (News Wires) — Authorities in Guatemala have raised by more than 130 the number of people officially missing from last month’s deadly eruption of the Volcano of Fire.
The country’s disaster agency says in a statement that the new figure is 332, up from 197 previously.
It said Wednesday that the revision followed a review of nearly 200,000 records and verifying lists of people living in shelters.
The Volcano of Fire is one of the region’s most active, located to the southwest of Guatemala City.
Authorities have confirmed at least 113 deaths from the June 3 eruption, which sent superheated flows raging through small villages. Eighty-five of those bodies have been identified.
Guatemala City, June 26, 2018 (AFP) - Guatemala on Monday asked the US government to give its migrants Temporary Protected Status after the devastating Fuego volcano eruption.
Officials have confirmed the deaths of 112 people as a result of the eruption on June 3, but scores more people remain unaccounted for.
"I have instructed the Minister of Foreign Affairs to request immediately from the government of the United States of America, Temporary Protected Status (TPS)" for migrants from Guatemala, President Jimmy Morales said on Twitter.
Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel said later that she sent a note to President Donald Trump's administration making the request "in favour of our migrant brothers."
The goal is "to benefit (undocumented) nationals who live ... in the United States with a work permit to avoid their deportation," she added.
The volcano, 35 kilometres southwest of the capital, sent an avalanche of burning volcanic material over the San Miguel Los Lotes community in the south of the country.
Guatemala made its bid for TPS after Washington recently announced it was cancelling the benefit for El Salvador and Honduras as of 2019 and 2020, respectively.
TPS, which grants temporary residence and work benefits to immigrants, was granted to Salvadorans after two earthquakes that devastated much of the country in January and February 2001. Honduras has had it for years after a hurricane.
The Guatemalan National Migrant Assistance Council estimates that about 1.5 million Guatemalans live in the United States and only between 300,000 and 400,000 have legal residence.
GUATEMALA CITY, June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - A 5.6 magnitude earthquake shook Guatemala Monday morning, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS), but disaster officials said it did not cause any damage, including at the Fuego volcano where recent eruptions have killed 110 people.
Strong shaking was felt but “all is calm,” Guatemala’s disaster agency said in a statement. A Reuters witness said tremors were not felt in the capital Guatemala City.
The epicenter was near the Pacific Coast less than 18.7km from Escuintla, an area at the Fuego volcano’s base that suffered the most deaths and injuries from eruptions of gas and ash that began two weeks ago.
Guatemala said late Sunday that it would end efforts to find nearly 200 people that went missing in the disaster.
The tremor struck at a depth of 100km, according to the USGS.
ALOTENANGO, Guatemala, June 6, 2018 (AFP) -- Nearly 200 people are missing and at least 73 people were killed since Guatemala's Fuego volcano began erupting over the weekend, officials said Wednesday.
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.
And 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. The latest of the 73 victims was a 42-year-old woman who died in hospital having lost both legs and an arm in the eruption.
The previous toll was given as 72. Some 46 people were injured, around half of whom are in serious condition, it said.
The 3,763-metre volcano erupted early Sunday, 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 Sunday's eruption. 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.
GUATEMALA CITY, June 5, 2018 (News Wires) - Rescue workers pulled more bodies Monday from under the dust and rubble left by an explosive eruption of Guatemala's Fuego volcano, bringing the death toll to at least 69.
Of them, 17 have been identified so far, said Fanuel Garcia, head of the National Institute of Forensic Sciences.
In addition, there are 46 people injured, most of them seriously, more than 1.7 million being hit by the disaster, including 3,271 ordered evacuated and 1,787 in shelters in the departments of Escuintla, Sacatepequez and Chimaltenango since Sunday's eruption.
The 3,763-metre (12,346-foot) volcano erupted early Sunday, spewing out towering plumes of ash and a hail of fiery rock fragments with scalding mud.
Authorities had warned the death toll could rise after searches resumed for survivors in communities on the mountain's southern flank.
After an initial toll of 25 dead, it was revised upwards within hours as bodies were recovered from villages razed by the tumbling mud.
"There are missing persons, but we do not know how many," said Sergio Cabanas of Guatemala's disaster management agency. A roll call of communities on the slopes of the volcano was under way.
The speed and ferocity of the eruption took mountain communities by surprise, with many of the dead found in or around their homes.
GUATEMALA CITY, June 4, 2018 (News Wires) - An estimated 25 people, including at least three children, were killed and nearly 300 injured on Sunday in the most violent eruption of Guatemala’s Fuego volcano in more than four decades, officials said.
Volcan de Fuego, whose name means “Volcano of Fire”, spewed an 8-kilometer (5-mile) stream of red hot lava and belched a thick plume of black smoke and ash that rained onto the capital and other regions.
The charred bodies of victims laid on the steaming, ashen remnants of a pyroclastic flow as rescuers attended to badly injured victims in the aftermath of the eruption.
It was the 3,763-meter (12,346-feet) volcano’s second eruption this year.
“It’s a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the El Rodeo village. There are injured, burned and dead people,” Sergio Cabanas, the general secretary of Guatemala’s CONRED national disaster management agency, said on radio.
CONRED said the number of dead had risen to 25, from an earlier estimate of seven, including a CONRED employee. Some 3,100 people have been evacuated from the area.
Officials said the dead were so far all concentrated in three towns: El Rodeo, Alotenango and San Miguel los Lotes.
Rescue operations were suspended until 5:00 A.M. (1100 GMT) due to dangerous conditions and inclement weather, said Cecilio Chacaj, a spokesman for the municipal firefighters department.
Dozens of videos appeared on social media and Guatemalan TV showing the extent of the devastation.
One video published by news outlet Telediario, purportedly taken in the El Rodeo village, showed three bodies strewn atop the remnants of the flow as rescuers arrived to attend to an elderly man caked from head to toe in ash and mud.
“Unfortunately El Rodeo was buried and we haven’t been able to reach the La Libertad village because of the lava and maybe there are people that died there too,” said CONRED’s Cabanas.