(ZHE— Rescue workers searched tirelessly for survivors amid a desolate grey landscape of ash and destruction on Monday, one day after Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupted near the capital. At least 65 are dead and an unknown number of people are missing, according to Guatemala’s natural disaster commission, also known as Conred.

Volunteer firefighters waded though layers of ash that reached knee-deep in places, only to find the charred remains of those who had been unable to flee the torrent of burning rock and ash that poured down the slopes of the volcano, whose name means “fire.” –NYT

We saw bodies totally, totally buried, like you saw in Pompeii,” said Dr. Otto Mazariegos, president of the Association of Municipal and Departmental Firefighters, who added that the death toll was expected to rise, “Probably in the hundreds.”

Rescue workers have been unable to reach sites on the south side of the volcano due to a lack of access.

 

The speed of the volcano’s flows took many by surprise – with some stopping by the road to watch the eruption – only to break into a sprint when they realized how fast the plumes were approaching.

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