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Volcan de Fuego, which means "Volcano of Fire", exploded violently on Sunday, shooting thick plumes of ash miles into the sky that rained down on residents and sending superheated pyroclastic and lava flows barreling through nearby towns.

Villages on the slopes of the volcano were buried in volcanic ash and mud.

"We are analyzing the terrain", said David de Leon, spokesperson for the disaster agency Conred.

A firefighter is seen while he is searching along with other firefighters for their missing colleague in the area affected by the volcanic eruption in Alotenango, Guatemala.

Officials in Guatemala say just 17 of the 69 people killed by the erupting volcano have been identified because the intense heat of volcanic debris has left most bodies unidentifiable.

Firefighters' spokesperson Julio Sanchez said Tuesday that 72 hours after Sunday's eruption there will be little chance of finding anyone alive. This number is expected to rise as much of the area is still too hot for rescue crews to search for bodies.

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A day after a new evacuation was ordered due to increasing activity by the volcano, a red alert remained in place for the departments of Escuintla, Sacatepequez and Chimaltenango, and people were advised not to linger near the affected zones.

"We come in support of the people who are really risking their lives for the people who are there", said Gladys Vian, a 56-year-old member of the Catholic parish of Escuintla. "We are talking about a tragedy, a national mourning", Guatemala President Jimmy Morales said.

"We have some toiletries, like shampoo, toothpaste, toothtbrushes we are also including some cereral for the kids that are in shelters because we know they like them", said Geraldina Motta, director of Operation Blessing Guatemala.

Guatemala's seismological, volcanic and meteorological institute Insivumeh heightened its warnings after the volcano erupted again on Tuesday, forcing evacuations and sending rescue workers scrambling for cover. Some 46 people were injured, around half of whom are in serious condition, it said.

Explosions from the volcano can be as high as 656 feet, the institute reported.


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