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Hope ebbs for finding survitors as rescuers continue to search for victims of the Fuego Volcano Hope ebbs for finding survitors as rescuers continue to search for victims of the Fuego Volcano  (AFP or licensors)

Death toll rises in Guatemala and scores are missing after massive volcano eruption

Seventy five people are confirmed dead, and two hundred more are still missing, following Sunday's massive eruption of El Fuego volcano, 40kms to the South West of Guatemala City. Pope Francis has said he is grieving and praying for all those affected and has sent his assurances of closeness to rescue workers.

By James Blears

More than 3,000 villagers have been evacuated, with Vulcanologists reassuring that the worst was definitely over, following Sunday's eruption, which sent ash plumes ten kilometers into the atmopshere, in the worst natural disaster of its kind in Guatemala since 1902.

But then El Fuego volcano confounded the Experts by again erupting, sending flows of molten lava, accompanyed by wafts of sulferous toxic clouds, down its Southern flank.

Rescue Services say the 72 hour window of opportunity to find any more survivors is now all but closed, but they still continue in the hopes of prizing a miracle from the grey flecked toxic sludge.

Two million people have been affected by this and the rebuilding will take years. It's hoped it'll be appreciably outside the 20 km danger zone which now rings El Fuego.

 

Listen to James Blears' report
06 June 2018, 17:29