Forensic officials in Guatemala have reportedly confirmed that the death toll from the eruption of Fuego volcano has climbed to 109 – signalling the sheer extent of the devastation in the central American country.
According to the Associated Press, forensic experts in the country have said that while the death toll has reached 109, it can increase even further. Rescue and relief operations have been underway round-the-clock since the highly-active volcano erupted last Sunday. Explosions from the volcano occurred on Wednesday as well which led to more volcanic material being sent out.
The explosion of the 3,763-metre volcano has created a national emergency in Guatemala and has affected close to 1.7 million people. According to volcanologists, people in the immediate vicinity have been severely affected by the most recent eruption of a volcano which has reportedly been active since 1542. They however say that people in far-flung areas too may have a direct or indirect impact from the explosion. There is currently fear that consistently heavy rainfall can trigger an avalanche which could make rescue efforts even more difficult.
While many countries have rushed aid to Guatemala, the country’s President – Jimmy Morales – has been accused of previously denying any help from other countries. He has since denied the charge.