Death Toll Rises To 99 From Guatemala Volcano Eruption, Nearly 200 Still Missing

| June 7 , 2018 , 11:14 IST

The death toll rose to 99 on Thursday from the eruption of the Fuego Volcano in Guatemala that took place on June 3, as more bodies were discovered in the search for survivors. Another 200 people are still reportedly missing, therefore the death toll may continue to rise further as emergency crews sweep through village devastated by the volcano eruption.

More than 1.7 million have been affected by the eruption overall, including 3,271 people forced to evacuate and 1,787 in shelters. The stricken regions have been covered by thick gray ash, further hardened by rainfall, making it difficult to dig through the mud and debris to reach homes.

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The Fuego Volcano in Guatemala is one of the most active volcanoes in the entire of Central America, which is why when it began spewing smoke on June 3, locals were not as alarmed, but within minutes the eruptions started.

Meanwhile, a red alert continued to remain in place for areas of Escuintla, Sacatepequez and Chimaltenango and people have been advised not to linger near the affected zones. Authorities have warned that rains increase the risk of deadly slides of ash, mud and debris.

According to local media reports, the recovery process was slow since the bodies pulled out were covered in mud and had severe burns as well.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales travelled by helicopter on Wednesday to survey the destruction caused by the volcano.

Although in past disaster situations areas were declared as burial sites where authorities determined that further efforts to recover bodies was difficult, the decision of that happening after the recent eruption would take place after search efforts end.