Update: The death toll resulting from this tragedy has risen substantially. For updates, please see our recent story.
Reports are claiming that at least 25 people are dead and 20 are injured after Guatemala's most violent volcano eruption in more than 100 years. Soon after the disaster struck, emergency personnel quickly came to the scene to rescue those in danger, as well as those in the surrounding area.
Fox News reports that 20 people were injured, and many of them were injured severely, meaning that the death toll could rise.
The disaster agency for Guatemala claimed that 3,100 people have been evacuated from nearby communities. Currently, shelters are opening for evacuees.
Video and picture evidence suggests that a fast-moving lahar slammed into a bridge on a highway between Sacatepequez and Escuintla. Lahar is described as a flow of pyroclastic material and slurry, according to Fox. Flow temperatures reached as high as about 1,300 degreed Fahrenheit.
Not everybody was able to get out of the disaster, and as a result, they ended up being buried. The goal of the government and local communities, however, is to ensure that as many people as possible are able to get out safely. As a result, hundreds of rescue workers, including firefighters and police, are working to help survivors and rescue anybody who is still believed to be in danger areas.
Rescue workers are also trying their best to help recover bodies that are still amid the smoking-lava.
Fox News reports that for a brief moment operation efforts to rescue victims were temporarily suspended due to weather conditions. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said that he would soon ask Congress to approve a state of emergency declaration and urged residents to pay attention to all warning issued from emergency officials.
The New York Times reports that by Monday morning, the intense activity of the volcano had subsided. The volcano had, according to reports, returned to its normal state of activity.
But some two million people were still impacted by the volcano's ash, which burst roughly 15,000 feet into the air and then dispersed over a 9-mile radius.
Guatemalan disaster official Sergio Cabanas remarked on Sunday that officials will work as long as it takes to evacuate people from the area around the volcano.
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