Mourning in Guatemala for Victims of Volcan de Fuego

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The volcano effect was felt strongly in the departments of Escuintla, Sacatepequez and Chimaltenango. (Photo: Noe Pérez / AFP).

In light of the magnitude of the disaster, President Jimmy Morales decreed three days of national mourning to pay tribute to the victims killed by mudslides

Guatemala’s flags were hoisted at half-mast today due to the tragedy caused by the eruption of Volcan de Fuego, one of the most powerful events over the past few years, as a result of which 25 people have been killed and an undetermined number of persons are missing.

In light of the magnitude of the disaster, President Jimmy Morales decreed three days of national mourning to pay tribute to the victims killed by mudslides and ashes from the volcano, which erupted on Sunday for the second time in 2018.

The number of deaths so far does not reflect the extent of the catastrophe shown on TV in zones still accessible and where the survivors beg for help to find their relatives who went missing in a matter of seconds.

The volcano’s fury was felt strongly in the departments of Escuintla, Sacatepequez and Chimaltenango, which were declared in State of Public Catastrophe by the Council of Ministers. Preliminary statistics from the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) show that about 1.7 million people have been affected and 20 have been injured, although there are places that are still under ashes and mud until rescue operations are resumed.

So far, the San Juan de Dios and Roosevelt hospitals in this capital have admitted 15 people (three children and 12 adults) who suffer from serious burns.

According to the National Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology Institute (INSIVUMEH), Volcan de Fuego’s activity stopped at 22:00 hours, local time, although the reactivation of eruptions is not ruled out.

As a preventive measure, the red alert will remain active in the departments of Sacatepequez, Escuintla and Chimaltenango, and the orange alert in the entire national territory.

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