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'Volcano of Fire' Death Toll Could Be in the Hundreds

It wiped an entire village off the map.
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2018 7:23 AM CDT
A volunteer firefighter rescues a dog from the disaster zone near the Volcan de Fuego, or "Volcano of Fire," in Escuintla, Guatemala, Tuesday, June 5, 2018.   (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)
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(Newser) – At least 75 people are now confirmed dead in the eruption of Guatemala's "Volcano of Fire" and authorities fear the true death toll could be in the hundreds. At least 192 people are missing and one village, El Rodeo, has been almost completely wiped off the map by a river of lava, the BBC reports. Rescue work was badly disrupted Tuesday when strong explosions sent fresh ash, rock, and gases streaming down the Fuego volcano, which is around 25 miles away from Guatemala City, reports CNN. Authorities say only 23 victims have been identified so far, including two young girls, ages 3 and 6. Around 3,000 people have been evacuated and the US Air Force is taking six badly burned children to Texas for treatment.

In the village of Escuintla, survivor Lilian Hernandez listed no fewer than 36 missing family members, the AP reports. "My cousins Ingrid, Yomira, Paola, Jennifer, Michael, Andrea, and Silvia, who was just 2 years old," the distraught woman said. In El Rodeo, rescuers dug through ash-covered homes and found one sign of life: A dog that somehow survived in a home where four people died. "Animals have a different sort of resistance ... and different behavior when it comes to finding refuge," says Julio Sanchez, a spokesman for the country's disaster agency. (Read more Guatemala stories.)

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