Guatemala Ends Search for Victims With 200 People Still Missing After Fuego Volcano Eruption

Relatives and volunteers work search for missing villagers after eruptions from Fuego volcano on 17 June. Thousands remain in emergency shelters.
Photograph: Rodrigo Abd/AP

Guatemala has ended its search for victims in the zone that suffered the most deaths and injuries from the Fuego volcano eruption, its disaster agency said.

At least 110 people died and 197 are still missing after violent eruptions that began two weeks ago, according to disaster agency CONRED.

“The search efforts are permanently suspended in the towns San Miguel Los Lotes and El Rodeo in the Escuintla municipality … the zone is uninhabitable and high risk,” CONRED said in a statement on Sunday.

The Fuego volcano, whose name means “Fire” in Spanish, is emitting four or five minor explosions each day and shooting columns of ash up to 4,700 meters above sea level, CONRED said.

Escuintla is operating 12 shelters for nearly 2,800 people displaced from homes that were swallowed by ash and dirt, while more than 770 people were staying in shelters in nearby areas.

Some survivors lost nearly all members of extended families after the volcano sent fast-moving currents of dust, lava and gas down its slopes in its greatest eruption in four decades.

SOURCE: The Guardian, Reuters