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Guatemala’s Fuego volcano disaster – Al Jazeera

Explosions boomed from Guatemala’s Fuego volcano on Wednesday, unleashing fresh torrents of mud and ash down slopes, as the death toll from a previous eruption rose to at least 99.

The National Forensic Sciences Agency said in a report that only 28 bodies have been identified.

“We already have data with names and locations where there are missing persons and that number is 192,” Sergio Cabanas, head of Guatemala’s disaster management agency, told reporters earlier in the day.

President Jimmy Morales has been criticised on social media for passively waiting to react to offers of international aid.

Guatemala’s national disaster management agency, CONRED, said 1.7 million people have been affected by the volcanic eruption, the biggest in four decades, and over 12,000 have been evacuated.

Volunteers were also distributing humanitarian aid, including clean drinking water, to victims.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said they have released more than 250,000 Swiss francs ($253,446) from its global emergency fund to support frontline emergency efforts.

These funds will help “Guatemala Red Cross support 3,000 of the most vulnerable survivors for three months,” they added

The 3,763-meter Fuego Volcano, or Volcano of Fire, is one of several active volcanoes among 34 in the Central American country. It lies near the colonial city of Antigua, a UNESCO world heritage site that has survived several major eruptions.

Volcan de Fuego spewed a 10km-long stream of red-hot lava and shot out a thick plume of black smoke and ash on Sunday that rained down onto several regions and the capital, Guatemala City, 30km away from the hardest-hit area.

 

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