Guatemala warns of greater activity after volcano explodes again

Ash-covered cars

The Policia Nacional Civil (National Civil Police) released the footage Tuesday on their social media feeds showing some of the devastation in the Escuintla area. What was once a collection of green canyons, hillsides and farms was reduced to grey devastation by fast-moving avalanches of super-heated muck that roared into the tightly knit villages on the mountain's flanks.

Thousands of people have been evacuated in Guatemala since Sunday, when Fuego's largest eruption in four decades shot hot gas and smoke 6.2 miles into the sky, according to CONRED, the country's natural disaster agency. The death toll from a devastating eruption at the weekend has climbed to an estimated 85 and some 200 remain missing.

Though numerous clouds obscure a view of the volcano, the footage shows a dark ash cloud suddenly grow in the centre of the image.

Areas buried in ash, June 4, 2019, after the eruption of the Fuego volcano, in Acatenango, Guatemala. These flows - a combination of ash, rock and volcanic gases - travel so fast during an eruption that its impossible for anything to outrun them.

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.

At the wreckage in the village of San Miguel Los Lotes near the base of the volcano, rescue crews were operating again but rain from the previous night had caused the ash to harden.

A day after a new evacuation was ordered due to increasing activity by the volcano, a red alert remained in place for the departments of Escuintla, Sacatepequez and Chimaltenango, and people were advised not to linger near the affected zones.

On Tuesday, a new eruption hampered rescue efforts, the BBC reported.

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Officials said the speed and ferocity of the eruption took mountain communities by surprise, with numerous dead found in or around their homes.

Even in more distant central Escuintla, which hosts most of the shelters for those evacuated from other areas, businesses were closed as people left.

Fuego is a stratovolcano which is a classic-cone shaped peak built from layers of ash and lava flows.

"They say they are going to leave them buried there, and we are not going to know if it's really them", the 39-year-old farmer said. My children say they would rather be in the streets.

"They also form without much warning from a collapse of part of the eruption plume", he said.

At least 192 people are missing, and the death toll was sure to rise. Numerous victims are unrecognisable, with officials warning that DNA testing and other methods may be needed to identify them.

Eddy Sanchez, the head of Guatemala's National Institute of Seismology, had said there would be "no imminent eruption over the next few days".

Lots of people have been hurt and at least 75 people have died.

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