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Guatemala: At Least 99 Dead as Fuego Volcano Threatens New Eruptions

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Local Editor

Explosions boomed from Guatemala's fearsome Fuego volcano Wednesday, unleashing fresh torrents of mud and ash down slopes, as the death toll from a previous eruption rose to at least 99.

Fuego Volcano

Fears of a new blowup of the 3,763-meter volcano stalked rescue workers since Sunday's eruption buried entire villages on its southern flank.

In this regard, the National Forensic Sciences Agency said in a Wednesday report that morgues had received the remains of 99 people killed as a r
esult of the eruption.

Only 28 have been identified so far, it said.

"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 earlier in the day.

Experts warned Wednesday that heavy rains in the area could provoke avalanches due to the large flows of volcanic mud, known as lahars, since the eruption on Sunday.

Meanwhile, volcanologists recorded the volcano exploding several times an hour Wednesday, which generated a fresh 4,700 meter high column of gray ash.

For their part, emergency workers had to temporarily suspend their search late Tuesday after a new eruption triggered a landslide.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from seven communities in the Escuintla area near the summit, as panicked locals rushed to their cars to escape, causing chaotic traffic.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team