Rescue work at Guatemala volcano interrupted, death toll hits 100

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Conred, the national disaster agency, said climatic conditions and still-hot volcanic material were making it risky for rescuers, and it was also taking into account the fact that 72 hours had passed since Sunday's eruption.

A new, more powerful explosion in the afternoon prompted an evacuation order, but deadly and fast-moving flows of superheated material and debris washed over villages before many people had time to flee.

Rains have been hitting the area and the agency says climatic conditions as well as the still-hot volcanic material deposited on the villages makes it risky for the rescuers.

Subsoil temperatures hit up to 700 degrees during the height of the eruption, and now the search is well under way clearing the rubble of shattered homes, looking for bodies. Almost 200 remained missing as of Tuesday. Their chances of having survived in the superheated pyroclastic ash storm are slim to none.

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According to Guatemalan disaster management agency CONRED, 1.7 million Guatemalans have been affected by Sunday's volcanic eruption.

Washington also dispatched aircraft to help transport burn victims to Florida and Texas.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said they have released more than 250,000 Swiss francs ($253,446) from its global emergency fund to support frontline emergency efforts.

The suspension of rescue efforts around the volcano may be lifted if conditions on the ground improve, CONRED said.

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The names and ages of the victims will remain confidential, officials said. Shriners Hospital sent an emergency medical team to Guatemala from Galveston 24 hours after the disaster. The agency said it chose to suspend the search now that 72 hours had passed.

The hamlet of San Miguel Los Lotes, once a collection of modest homes with a road running alongside, was nearly completely buried up to rooftops.

The institute warned people Wednesday to be alert and avoid the area. Guatemala is also home to 16.3 million people with more than 9% of the population living below the worldwide poverty line.

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