GUATEMALA VOLCANO SPEWS DEADLY HOT ASH AND LAVA CAUSING DOZENS THEIR LIVES
In this year’s tragic and most deadliest volcano eruption, Guatemala’s disaster agency state that 62 of the country’s residents have been found dead, 300 injured and dozens are still missing as the Feugo volcano spewed a 5-mile stream of hot lava and spat out heavy ash, rocks, and lava for 16 and a half hours on Sunday 03 June 2018. Sergio Cabañas, the head of the National Disaster Prevention Authority stated that “It was a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the Rodeo village.” He confirmed that “People have been injured, burned and killed,” With evacuations still overgoing.
On Monday, Guatemala’s National Forensic Sciences Institute said that only 13 people had been identified out of the 62 people that have been found dead because the bodies were badly disfigured due to the extreme temperatures of the flow that reached as high as 1,300F (700C). “We’re having a lot of trouble identifying them because some of the dead lost their features or their fingerprints. We’re going to have to use other anthropological methods and if possible take DNA samples to identify them.”
Eddy Sanchez, the director of Guatemala’s seismological volcanic and meteorological institute, warned about the dangerous mudflows “Temperatures in the pyroclastic flow can exceed 700 degrees (Celcius) and volcanic ash can rain down on a 15km (nine-mile) radius. That could cause more mudflows and nearby rivers to burst their banks.”
Dominic Lopez, who escaped with burns on his feet, told the local newspaper Presa Libre that his whole community was covered in molten ash. “I cannot believe this, It has never been so bad,”
The fast cloud of the deadly volcanic matter and gases triggered mudslides in the surrounding areas which crashed into the surrounding homes and killed many people. The majority of the victims were from San Miguel Los Lotes, El Rodeo, or Escuintla who died after homes being crushed through with the powerful force of the lava and mud.
It is estimated that 1.7 million people are still at risk from ash, toxic gases and waste emanating from the eruption.
After evacuating the town of El Rodeo with his family, a 46-year-old devasted man by the name of Francisco Quiche returned to search for his son and daughter-in-law and gave a blood sample to try to identify his son’s body, but sadly, he already knew his son’s fate. Francisco went to his son’s house and he peered through a wall of his home and saw his body. He feared that his daughter-in-law was gone too.
“We had time to leave, thank God, but I am very sorry for the loss of my son and my daughter-in-law,” he said through the tears “My son was just 22 years old, the same as my daughter-in-law who was expecting a baby.”
Eddy Sanchez further reported that “by Monday evening, the volcano’s activity was lessening, and expected to continue to diminish in the coming days.”
The Government has declared three days of mourning.