Monday, 4 June 2018

Guatemala volcano survivor says family buried in volcanian eruption

A woman who survived the Guatemala volcano eruption said she believes her family was buried in the disaster.

Volcan de Fuego, whose name means "Volcano of Fire", devastated three towns over the weekend in the Central American country, killing at least 25 people.

Consuelo Hernandez was filmed covered in ash as she walked down a road, fearful that her entire family had been buried by the eruption.

"Not everyone escaped. I think they were buried," she told the camera man.

When asked how she survived, she said: "Because we saw the lava pouring through the corn fields and we ran towards the hill."

The volcano suffered a vulcanian eruption - a violent and sudden volcanic blast which often throws large amounts of debris into the air and is accompanied by fast-moving lava flows.

Rescue agencies estimate that at least 300 people have been injured, with the blast raining ash down on the country's nearby capital of Guatemala City, forcing the international airport to close.

One video taken near the disaster showed dead bodies lying on top of the pyroclastic flow. Rescue workers have been searching for survivors and have evacuated more than 3,000 people from their homes.

The Fuego Volcano in eruption, seen from Alotenango municipality (AFP/Getty Images)
Sergio Cabañas, head of the country's National Disaster Management Agency (Conred), said his agency has been unable to reach one affected village due to the lava flow.

He told a local radio station: "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."

Several children and workers from the Conred agency are among the dead, Mr Cabañas added.

Guatemala's president Jimmy Morales said he is considering declaring a state of emergency due to the disaster, with rescue agencies warning that heavy rains could cause mudslides in the coming days due to the eruption.

Eddy Sánchez, director of the National Institute for Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology of Guatemala, has warned the volcano is still in an active state, and has advised local people to stay off the roads.

Volcan de Fuego is one of the most active volcanos in Central America, with the recent eruption being the largest it has experienced since 1974.

(Source: Independent)

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