Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Harrowing drone video shows damage from Fuego volcano eruption in Guatemala

Harrowing drone video shows damage from Fuego volcano eruption in Guatemala

Homes and structures in villages at the foot of the volcano, including hard-hit El Rodeo, were covered in ash and mud, leaving the once lush, green vegetation coated in gray.

"We will continue until we find the last victim, though we do not know how many there are".

Firefighters said the chance of finding anyone alive amid the still-steaming terrain was practically non-existent 72 hours after the volcanic explosion on Sunday.

Standing amid the wreckage on Wednesday, he said any bodies below are surely severely damaged, and if heavy machinery comes, it will tear up their remains.

The fast-moving flows with temperatures as high as 700 Celsius and hot ash and volcanic gases that can cause rapid asphyxiation caught many off guard.

Residents who gave food for rescue workers are seen beside a police cordon in Escuintla.

So far only 28 of the dead have been identified, it said.

The 3,763-meter Volcan de Fuego is one of several active volcanoes among 34 in the Central American country.

People who lived in the area are now staying in temporary shelters.

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Volcan de Fuego, which means "Volcano of Fire", exploded on Sunday in its most devastating eruption in more than four decades, showering ash on a wide area and sending rapid pyroclastic flows through nearby towns. "Water has been trapped under the ash and vapors could come out any time".

Before he and his family were ultimately rescued, they managed to make their way to an upper floor of a concrete home. After a cellphone call to Castillo's brother, rescuers arrived and took the family to safety.

"Nobody wants to go back there".

They have been helping children and families in Guatemala for ten years. There are many people who are helping us, but we have absolutely nothing.

Alfonso Castillo, a 33-year-old farm worker, said nothing seemed abnormal on Sunday - but then the situation became significantly more unsafe. "For us, there is no tomorrow".

In one shelter, people displaced by the volcano were given free haircuts by student hair stylists.

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

"One million seven hundred thousand people are affected, and that number could rise - he said - there is serious damage to infrastructure, especially roads and bridges, so communications are very hard".

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