The danger continues in the Volcán de Fuego of Guatemala

The danger continues in the Volcán de Fuego of Guatemala

By Associated Press 06/10/2018 | 08: 11 a.m.

On the verge of being fulfilled a week of the eruption that has cost the life, at least, to 110 people, it follows the danger in the Volcano of Fire. The Guatemalan authorities ordered new preventive evacuations due to a new lahar, hot sediments that because of the rains fell on Saturday through some ravines on the western flank of the volcano.
However, that did not stop another hillside, those most affected by the tragedy, relatives and volunteers continue to look for people under the ashes. In the afternoon, in the capital of the country, around a thousand Guatemalans protested the official management of the crisis. According to the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (INSIVUMEH), Saturday was the strongest lahar that has descended this year and it was composed of fine pasty material and blocks of 1 and 3 meters in diameter that dragged trunks and branches of trees and caused vibrations in its path. All that mass, fruit of the accumulated pyroclastic flows of the eruption last Sunday, came down very hot, giving off steam and the smell of sulfur, and there was the danger of overflowing in some sectors of the lower part of the volcano, which would block the access of vehicles. In the afternoon, the flood of the Pantaleón River caused by the lahar motivated the preventive evacuation of 72 people from a community of Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa. Eddy Sánchez, INSIVUMEH director, told The Associated Press that the risk of the volcano is not over although it seems that its activity is decreasing. He recalled that in the previous eruption two and a half weeks had passed before he could return to normal. Sánchez said that constant vigilance is maintained and that they have received support from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, which will install a monitoring team. The search efforts of the nearly 200 disappeared are officially paralyzed for the third consecutive day, but in places like San Miguel Los Lotes dozens of families and volunteers persisted on Saturday in their attempt to find anyone who might have been buried. With masks or scarves covering the nose and mouth, among clouds of ash that made the atmosphere unbreathable, groups of Mexican “topos” – civil organizations specialized in rescue – dug shoulder to shoulder with neighbors and relatives, often consumed by despair, like Damaris Toma, a 24-year-old girl who could not stop crying because she could not find her daughter Emily, 6. Meanwhile, in the improvised mortuaries of Escuintla, forensics worked tirelessly to name the many corpses that remained anonymous. On Saturday the National Institute of Forensic Sciences reported the first five identifications made by DNA and another 3 by fingerprints. In total, 49 of the 110 deaths have been identified. More than 4,000 people remain in shelters where national and international aid began to arrive but also the first reports of how this aid is being managed. The Guatemalan authorities have already opened an investigation to see if irregularities were committed and if all the emergency protocols were followed but criticisms of the official management have not been long in coming. On Saturday afternoon, a thousand people charged with torches, whistles and flags of Guatemala demonstrated in the capital in protest of the government’s management of this tragedy and held a minute of silence in front of the Congress for all the victims. “It is not worth taking advantage of the human crisis to be well,” criticized Mynor Alonzo after explaining that the authorities were delivering to the victims as their own food and aid that had donated the town. “It’s a weak government” managed “by inept people trying to wash their faces,” he added.

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