Authorities scramble to rescue people trapped under the remains of one of Central America’s largest volcanic eruptions in decades. Others wonder if this is the beginning of the “ring of fire.”
One day after the eruption of Volcán de Fuego in Guatemala, the death toll is currently at 69 with hundreds of injuries reported and over 3,000 villagers evacuated from towns near explosion. Rivaling the historical blast in Pompeii, El Fuego sits just 30 miles south of the country’s capital, Guatemala City.
The number of victims are expected to climb as rescue workers continue to forage through the charred landscapes of towns either severely seared or completely flattened. Details from emergency teams said that they were forced to retreat once the soles in their shoes began to melt.
On Sunday, El Fuego’s eruption blasted smoke, rock and ash nine miles into the sky, as reported by the New York Times. A second explosion, almost as powerful as the first, shook that evening. Since, emergency workers and local citizens are moving non-stop to pull victims from debris and rubble.
El Fuego, the most active volcano in the world, spews smoke multiple times daily. This is the first time in decades that the lava structure has exploded into fiery mayhem.
The active volcano is the second major blast along the Pacific coast to erupt recently. El Fuego’s explosion comes exactly one month after the neighboring Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii.
The Ring of Fire
Scientists express concern, as it is part of the notorious, “ring of fire,” an area in the Pacific ocean where there are numerous earthquakes, as well as, a congregation of 452 volcanoes. Home to more than 75% of the Earth’s volcanoes and 90% of its earthquakes, the ring of fire is a hot spot for multiple natural disasters, ranging from places like Indonesia to North and South America.
According to Weather Channel interview an environmental expert said, “its every 20 to 30 years that things get shaken up in the pacific northwest. But when they do, its very serious business.”
While rescuers continue to search for bodies, the government is helping relocate evacuees from the three villages that have been totally destroyed. Israel said it delivered food, blankets and medicine through its embassy to assist in emergency efforts.