Rescuers search for missing near Guatemala volcano as death toll climbs

Map of the area

Bing Maps This map shows the locations of Fuego and Pacaya volcaoes

The threat of fresh landslides forced emergency workers Thursday to suspend a search for victims of a major eruption of Guatemala's Fuego volcano, the country's disaster management agency said. That's the length of time officials had said earlier that some victims might have survived.

It has been shown that Conred's Twitter feed as late as 11:00 on the morning of the eruption said that it wasn't yet necessary to evacuate.

A pyroclastic flow is a fast-moving mixture of gas and volcanic material, such as pumice and ash.

Authorities ordered new evacuations Friday, warning of activity at the Volcano of Fire and saying risky flows of volcanic material, water and sediment were coursing through four canyons. Rescuers poked metal rods into the ground, sending clouds of smoke into the air in a sign of the super-hot temperatures below - as high as 700 degrees Celsius in some places.

The National Forensic Sciences Agency said in a report Wednesday that morgues had received the remains of 99 people killed as a result of the eruption.

Firefighters carry a body recovered near the Volcan de Fuego.

Fuego volcano exploded around noon on Sunday, affecting more than 1.7 million people.

Rescue workers in Guatemala dealing with the deadly volcanic eruption of Mount Fuego, the most violent in more than 40 years, now have heavy rain and the prospect of mudslides bringing the unstable freshly-deposited ash down on them.

But the huge ash field dwarfed their efforts, and the lack of government help angered them.

"In a matter of three or four minutes the village disappeared", Castillo said.

When the children and their families are able to return home to Guatemala, Shriners doctors will fly with them to check in.

"Nobody wants to go back there". "They are taking away our opportunity to say goodbye".

"Without help we can't do anything. the only thing that matters to the government is the highway", Hernandez said.

But people with missing loved ones have been upset by the suspension of search and recovery efforts.

Sergio Cabanas, director of the disaster agency, said Tuesday night at a news conference that 192 people were listed as missing.

Cabanas and other officials have said there wasn't sufficient information from Guatemala's National Seismological Volcanic and Meteorological Institute beforehand to issue an evacuation warning.

Associated Press writer Mark Stevenson reported this story in San Miguel Los Lotes and AP writer Sonia Perez D. reported from Escuintla.

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