NH church sending supplies for Guatemala volcano victims

Hundreds are still missing after the Fuego volcano spewed torrents of hot ash and gas over towns and villages

The death toll from the eruption of the Fuego volcano in Guatemala has risen to 99 as more bodies were found Wednesday, according to Guatemala's National Forensic Sciences Institute (INACIF).

The volcano's eruption has left dozens of people injured and more than 12,000 evacuated, with over 3,600 in shelters, according to figures from the country's disaster agency.

"We already have data with names and locations where there are missing persons and that number is 192", Sergio Cabanas, head of Guatemala's disaster management agency, told reporters.

The volcano is one of Central America's most active, and everyone was accustomed to rumbling and spewing smoke, so at first nothing seemed abnormal Sunday, the 33-year-old farm worker said.

Sunday's eruption sent fast-moving flows of superheated material and debris cascading down the mountain's flank and through small villages. A photograph shows their bodies huddled on a bed in the corner of a room, covered in white ash and blood.

The rescue brigades are working at top speed because they know that the order to stop the search will arrive at any moment so that the machinery can enter and sweep tons of ashes now petrified by the last-hour rainfalls.

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A group of police officers saw what the family was doing and came to lend shovels and help with the digging. Right? But we didn't do it to them, and these kids need help.

Rains have been hitting the area and the agency says climatic conditions as well as the still-hot volcanic material deposited on the villages makes it unsafe for the rescuers. "They did not care and they did not take precautions".

"We can only work in places where we can stand on the roofs of houses because there is an area higher up that we cannot reach, we tried, but we had to walk on wooden boards", said 25-year-old relief worker Diego Lorenzana.

Perez D. reported from Escuintla and Stevenson reported from San Miguel Los Lotes.

He urged residents to stay away from the area, which is about 40 kilometers southwest of Guatemala City.

Relatives mourn during the wake for Natividad Tuchan, who died during the eruption of Fuego volcano, in Alotenango, Guatemala June 7, 2018. Officials said more pyroclastic flow is expected in the upcoming days.

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