GUATEMALA CITY: A week after the eruption of Fuego volcano in Guatemala on June 3, the death toll increased to 114 on Tuesday, the authorities said.
Conred national disaster coordinator brigades, firefighters, army troops and international experts, aided by surviving local residents, on Monday entered so-called "Ground Zero" in the community of San Miguel Los Lotes, in Escuintla province, which was buried under volcanic ash and devastated by pyroclastic flows, reports Efe news.
Using picks and other tools, along with some heavy machinery, recovery brigades found the four bodies in the ruins of the village and under the tonnes of volcanic material.
The victims are identified as members of a single family. The area reeks of sulfur and recent rains have hardened the pyroclastic flows of volcanic material that have moved down the mountain's slopes.
Authorities say there is zero possibility of finding any survivors in the devastated areas. Conred said that because of rainy conditions, search operations were suspended on Monday but will resume on Tuesday.
Insivumeh also reported that volcanic activity within the mountain continues, including frequent and abundant emanations of ash and gas and up to nine explosions per hour, the activity that is causing repeated avalanches of fine ash and other material along the southeastern flank.
Health Minister Carlos Soto said, more than 4,000 are people being housed in shelters and are being attended by private organisations such as the Rotary Club. According to volcanologists, eruption records of Fuego, one of the country's most active volcanoes, dates back to 1542.