As bad as the eruption of Kilauea has been, the eruption of Volcán de Fuego in Guatemala has been immeasurably worse:
Guatemala’s opposition is accusing the head of the country’s emergency response agency of failing to heed warnings ahead of the eruption of a volcano that has left 109 dead and almost 200 others missing.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, rescue crews were repeatedly forced to retreat as Fuego sent boiling water and toxic gas down its slopes.
Even so, The Associated Press reports that search teams were able to make some progress — using shovels and heavy equipment to uncover more bodies.
The official death toll on Thursday stood at 109, with 197 listed as missing and presumed dead.
“Nobody is going to be able to get them out or say how many are buried here,” Efrain Suarez, a 59-year-old truck driver helping with the rescue efforts at the devastated village of San Miguel Los Lotes, told the AP.
“The bodies are already charred,” he said. “And if heavy machinery comes in they will be torn apart.”