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Guatemala Volcano Death Toll Up to 65, Expected to Rise

06-04-2018
A deadly volcanic eruption in Guatemala has killed at least 65 people, and officials expect the death toll to rise.
 
Rescuers are racing the clock, searching for buried victims. Monday they pulled 10 people still alive from ash drifts and mudflows.
 
The "Volcano of Fire" – one of Central America's most active volcanoes – exploded Sunday sending blankets of ash and lava flowing into nearby villages.
 
Officials say at least 20 people were injured, and are concerned the death toll could rise since an undetermined number of people are still unaccounted for.
 
Firefighters said they were unable to reach some victims who were trapped as roads were blocked or destroyed.
 
 
Operation Blessing is helping to bring relief to survivors in shelters in the area.
 
Working with United Way and the Guatemalan military, OB is delivering hygiene kits, food, and water. More than 3,000 people have already been evacuated.
 
OB says the number of casualties is due to people staying in their homes believing the worst was over after the volcano originally erupted two months ago. They say Sunday's intense explosion caught everyone by surprise.
 
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has declared a state of emergency.
 

Across the Pacific Ocean in Hawaii, authorities say nearly a dozen people are now stranded in an area cut off by a river of lava as the volcanic eruption escalates on the big island.

The erupting Kilauea volcano has cut off access to the Kapoho and Vacationland areas.

Officials say residents were warned this was their last chance to evacuate but their escape route was cut off by lava flow.

"It kinda makes it harder for responders and emergency personnel, because we're tracking stuff that's potentially dangerous, and if one of those walls break out, and they're there - they're gonna be inundated right away, we're not gonna be able to help them," one official said.

First responders are conducting search and rescue missions in affected isolated areas today.

Officials warn residents on the south and west sides of the island should take action to limit exposure to gas, ash and volcanic particles.

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