Guatemala volcano toll reaches 109: officials

GUATEMALA CITY: The death toll from the eruption of Guatemala´s Fuego volcano has reached 109, officials said Thursday.

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The National Forensic Sciences Agency said morgues had received the remains of 109 victims of Sunday´s eruption. The previous toll was 99.

The agency said seven of the latest victims were in a temporary morgue installed close to the impact zone, in the now-devastated community of San Miguel Los Lotes in Escuintla, south of the capital Guatemala City.

Another three victims were transferred to the capital´s central morgue, having succumbed to their injuries while hospitalized.

The eruption of the 3,763-meter (12,346-foot) volcano, located 35 kilometers (21 miles) southeast of Guatemala City, was the strongest in four decades.

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.

Authorities temporarily suspended rescue and recovery operations on Thursday in areas devastated by the volcano as heavy rainfall, still-hot volcanic material and additional explosions threatened to cause dangerous landslides.

AFP

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