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Offbeat In volcano's wake, a Guatemalan town became a cemetery

00:05  12 june  2018
00:05  12 june  2018 Source:   reuters.com

Volcano lava river runs into Guatemala village, several killed

  Volcano lava river runs into Guatemala village, several killed At least six people were killed and another 20 injured on Sunday when Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted violently, spewing a stream of red hot lava and belching a thick plume of black smoke and ash high into the sky. "It's a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the Rodeo village. There are injured, burned and dead people," Sergio Cabanas, the general secretary of Guatemala's Conred disaster agency, said on radio."We are evacuating and rescuing people and have reports of 20 wounded, six dead and disappeared," said Cabanas.

News In volcano ' s wake , a Guatemalan town became a cemetery SAN MIGUEL LOS LOTES, Guatemala (Reuters) - There was no time to eat. Sunday family lunches were

Volcano turns Guatemalan town into a cemetery . A dog walks past trees covered with ash after the eruption of the Fuego volcano in San Miguel Los Lotes in Escuintla, Guatemala , June 8, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso SEARCH " VOLCANO DETAILS" FOR THIS STORY.

There was no time to eat. Sunday family lunches were interrupted, the food left on the table. Children abandoned toys, and clothes still hung on lines in backyards. Animals died petrified.

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  Guatemalans recall terror of eruption Sitting on the floor of the community shelter where he and his family found refuge, Manuel Lopez breathed a sigh of relief Monday after his close call with Guatemala's deadly Fuego volcano.Barefoot, with his wife and two-month-old daughter sleeping on a blanket by his side, the 22-year-old recalled the terror that gripped his family as a tide of boiling mud and ash suddenly swept into their hillside home.

The Wider Image: In volcano ' s wake , Guatemalan town became a cemetery . Guatemalan authorities reacted slowly to signs of the Fuego volcano ' s impending eruption on June 3, contributing to one of the most tragic natural disasters in recent Guatemalan history.

Guatemalan authorities reacted slowly to signs of the Fuego volcano ' s impending eruption on June 3, contributing to one of the most tragic natural disasters in Volcanic rocks are spread around an area that got buried after the eruption of the Fuego volcano . The volcano rumbled to life early that Sunday.

Guatemalan authorities reacted slowly to signs of the Fuego volcano's impending eruption on June 3, contributing to one of the most tragic natural disasters in recent Guatemalan history.

The volcano rumbled to life early that Sunday. By midday, it was spewing ash in smoking columns miles high that then fell, dusting a wide swath of the Central American country.

But with the mountain's rumbles and the first ash showers, many villagers made a fatal bet to stay put, gambling that luck that had protected them for decades would hold once again.

In the afternoon things took a turn for the worse. Tons of ash propelled by scalding, toxic gases poured down Fuego's flanks. These "pyroclastic flows" hit much faster, more lethal speeds than lava, dragging trees and giant rocks down onto villages in their path.

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Guatemalan authorities reacted slowly to signs of the Fuego volcano ' s impending eruption on June 3, contributing to one of the most tragic natural disasters in recent Guatemalan history. The volcano rumbled to life early that Sunday. By midday, it was spewing ash in smoking columns miles high that

Guatemalan authorities reacted slowly to signs of the Fuego volcano ’ s impending eruption on June 3, contributing to one of the most tragic natural disasters in recent Guatemalan history. The volcano rumbled to life early that Sunday. By midday, it was spewing ash in smoking columns miles high that

By the time most families in the worst-hit hamlets of El Rodeo and San Miguel de Los Lotes knew what was happening, they only had time to run, if that.

"My family was having lunch, they left the plates of food and stopped eating and fled," said Pedro Gomez, a 45-year-old welder. "They took nothing but their clothes on their backs."

Now, everything in the previously lush, bright green landscape is coated in thick layers of sepia-colored volcanic ash, giving the place the eerie feeling of a ghost ship. Where once there was life, there is heat, dust and a lingering smell of sulfur.

In one home, the pages of a Bible are singed. Outside, cattle lay dead. A bass drum lay abandoned. In kitchens, there was food in pots ready to be served.

At least 110 people have died and close to 200 are thought buried under the rubble in the hamlet on the fertile lower slopes of the volcano. Fuego - Spanish for "fire" - rises between the regions of Sacatepequez, Escuintla and Chimaltenango about 30 miles (50 km) from Guatemala City, the nation's capital.

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Animals died petrified. Guatemalan authorities reacted slowly to signs of the Fuego volcano ' s impending eruption on June 3 A house covered with ash is seen after the eruption of the Fuego volcano in San Miguel Los Lotes in Escuintla, Guatemala , June 6, 2018.

Guatemalan authorities reacted slowly to signs of the Fuego volcano ' s impending eruption on June 3, contributing to one of the most tragic natural disasters in recent Guatemalan history. The volcano rumbled to life early that Sunday. By midday, it was spewing ash in smoking columns miles high that

Rescuers searching for bodies walked on the roofs of houses as if they were floors, digging down into buildings where they have found only corpses of those who stayed behind. Only a few dogs, chickens, rabbits and cats survived.

As the burning volcanic matter rushed at them, some escaped on foot, others by car.

"I took out the pickup truck and escaped with a lot of neighbors when we saw the smoke," said Alejandro Velasquez, 46, a farmer.

Others with still less time ran through bushes and leaped across barbed wire and wooden fences to reach the main road of the town of Escuintla, near Los Lotes.

Many lost 10 to 50 relatives each, descendents of intertwining generations of a small families who settled in Los Lotes more than 40 years ago. They refuse to give up hope of finding relatives - or at least their remains. "My entire family is missing," said Jose Ascon. The young man argued with police who had temporarily halted rescue efforts after more flows from the eruption.

"I would give my life to find my family."

For related photo essay: https://reut.rs/2sQrGwx

(Reporting by Carlos Jasso and Sofia Menchu; writing by Delphine Schrank; editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Jonathan Oatis)

Guatemala volcano search called off with nearly 200 unaccounted for .
Authorities on Sunday called off a search for the nearly 200 people missing since Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted earlier this month, devastating the surrounding countryside. Officials have confirmed the deaths of 110 people as a result of the volcanic eruption on June 3, but another 197 people remain unaccounted for.A spokesman for the government's civil protection agency, David de Leon, said the agencies involved decided to end the search "due to the fact that the area is uninhabitable and of high risk.

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