Officials have warned it will take time to identify those who died from the eruption of Guatemala’s Volcano of Fire.
It is known that at least 69 people including children have died after rivers of lava made their way through mountain village. Only 17 have been identified.
An official from the National Institute of Forensic Sciences said: “It is very difficult for us to identify them because some of the dead lost their features or their fingerprints. We are going yo have to resort to other methods… and if possible take DNA samples to identify them.”
An estimated 3,271 people have been evacuated and at least 10 people wrenched to safety by the emergency crew in helicopters.
Residents didn’t have time to flee to safety, and now, rescuers are using sledgehammers to break through the roof of houses buried in debris to see if anyone is inside.
In addition, emergency workers have faced difficult conditions as smouldering terrain still hot enough to melt shoe soles while they search of survivors.
Some residents in El Rodeo, one of the worst affected villages, have criticised Conred, Guatemala’s disaster agency, for not evacuating communities quickly enough.
Rafael Letran said: “ When the lava was already here they passed by in their pickup trucks yelling at us to leave, but the cars did not stop to pick up the people.”
“The government is good at stealing, but when it comes to helping people they lack spark.”
Search is continues.