Devastated Guatemala Hit by 5.6-Magnitude Earthquake

Disaster officials say there have been no reports of damages.

An earthquake measuring 5.6 has hit Guatemala as they recover from the devastating effects of Volcano Fuego, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

RELATED:  Guatemala Volcano Search Called Off Despite 200 Unaccounted For

The tremor hit at late Sunday and was felt in El Salvador. According to authorities, strong shaking was felt from the earthquake which was located at a depth of 100 kilometers about 67 kilometers southwest of Guatemala City.

Disaster officials say there have been no reports of damages.

The quake came two weeks the volcano erupted leaving dozens dead, injured, or missing. Some 110 people died and about 200 are still missing following the eruption in May.

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Authorities, on Sunday, called off a search for the missing.

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Cuban Physicians provide Services to Guatemalan People affected by Volcanic Eruption

A group of Cuban doctors provide their services to more than 900 people from the Guatemalan southeastern department of Escuintla, one of the most affected by the eruption of the Fuego volcano, only a week after its most powerful eruption since 1974.

According to Prensa Latina (PL) news agency, the presence of the Cuban physicians there did not start with the emergency; they are part of the 26 health workers of the Cuban Medical Brigade (BMC by its Spanish acronym) that for years have lived with the inhabitants of the area, so they are well acquainted with their customs and needs.

As soon as they heard the news of the high number of victims of the fatal Sunday June 3, immediately went to offer their services voluntarily and continuing to meet their daily work at the hospital in Escuintla and the surrounding areas.

Dr. Relmar Quintana, coordinator of the Escuintla group, says that overcrowding, poor ventilation and availability of sanitary services, generate the early appearance of respiratory and digestive infections, which first manifestations are already appearing.

We are investigating everyone – Quintana explains - in order to have them under control to act quickly in the face of any emergency.

Yessenia Peralta, a volunteer firefighter, told PL that she has had all the time the support of the BMC to control the growing outbreaks of diarrheal, skin and respiratory diseases.

Yuri Batista, BMC National Coordinator in Guatemala, is together with five other collaborators evaluating the epidemiological situation of the place, and they are permanently accompanied by the Cuban ambassador in Guatemala, Carlos de Cespedes Piedra.

From the first moment of the natural catastrophe, Cuba put at the disposal of Guatemalan authorities the experience accumulated by the BMC during almost 20 years of uninterrupted presence.

Batista emphasizes that in total there are 431 Cuban health workers, 245 doctors and 136 nurses, deployed by 16 of the 22 departments of the country, and that they cover dissimilar specialties.

That figure also includes 39 members of the Henry Reeve Brigade, specialized in disaster situations and created on September 19, 2005 by the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

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Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel sends condolences to Guatemala for deaths caused by volcano

Havana, June 6 (RHC)-- Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has sent his condolences to the government and people of Guatemala for the loss of human life and the damage caused by the volcanic eruptions of the Volcán Fuego. 

In a message sent to Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, the head of state of the island extended his condolences to the relatives of the victims. 

The eruption of the Fuego volcano is affecting the southern department of Escuintla, where dozens of deaths are reported. 

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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Cuba beat Guatemala to start Challengers Cup

Cuba had no difficulties to defeat Guatemala 3-0 (25-10, 25-16, 25-16) in the closing match of day one of the NORCECA Men's Challenger Cup where one ticket is available for the World Final qualifying to the League of Nations of the FIVB 2019.

The favorites were superior in all the aspects of the match, in which the top scorers were the opposite Miguel David Gutiérrez (12) and the outsider hitter Osniel Melgarejo (10). For the Central Americans the one who contributed more to his team was the opposite Leonel Aragón with 6 marks.

Nicolás Vives, the Cuban coach highlighted the fulfillment by his boys in the work of the service and the blocking. "It worked very well, that was the strategy, blocking the diagonal as we also made some important changes to make it possible for everyone to play because it is their first match as a team."

"They also have the option to develop, we want the reserves to play and be ready for any complication, and because there may still be some changes in the squad for the Central American and Caribbean Games of Barranquilla."

Liván Osoria, captain of the host, said that "this encounter helped us to get loose and go into play, because a while ago we did not play as a selection in official events, I think that as the competition progresses we will raise the level and the main objective is to win the Cup, there cannot be other than that. "

The Cuban Reider Lucas Mora, head coach of Guatemala, talked about what it means to face the best team of the event. "The hosts have improved a lot, their level is impressive for this type of event in the area and we have a lot to gain and little to lose, but my boys did not play as we would have liked, a little more performance, they were confused and did not trust in them, but I hope that starting tomorrow they will improve ".

Even though he did not mention it, the fact is the group arrived almost at dawn delayed by the situation of the volcano in Guatemala, and only trained a few minutes because the trip lasted almost 24 hours, but it was worth the enthusiasm these young guys showed when entered the court.

His captain Carlos Lopez said that "we do not fit well, we made too many errors in the receipt and also in the blocking we were out of focus, but at the end of the game we squeeze and leave with that feeling that we know we can do things well and that in the rest of this Cup we will do what we can."

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At Least 75 Dead As Guatemala's Fire Volcano Erupts Again

National disaster agency Conred said 192 people remained missing and the forensic agency, Inacif, raised the death toll to at least 75, up from 72.

Guatemala's authorities warned that the Fuego volcano was showing signs of greater activity on Tuesday night as the death toll from a devastating eruption at the weekend climbed to 75 and nearly 200 people remained missing.

The seismological, volcanic and meteorological institute Insivumeh heightened its warnings after the volcano erupted again earlier on Tuesday, forcing evacuations and sending rescue workers scrambling for cover.

The national disaster agency, Conred, said 192 people remained missing after the disaster and the forensic agency, Inacif, raised the death toll to at least 75, up from 72.

As of 13:00 local time Tuesday, more than 1,700,000 people had been affected, with 3,271 forced to evacuate.

The peak had its most devastating eruption in more than four decades on Sunday, showering ash on a wide area and sending lava flows through nearby towns, according to a Reuters report.

"The conditions are extremely critical at this moment," Insivumeh Director Eddy Sanchez told reporters.

Volcan de Fuego, which means 'Volcano of Fire' in Spanish, is one of several active volcanoes among 34 in the Central American country. It lies near the colonial city of Antigua, a Unesco world heritage site that has survived several major eruptions.

The latest activity has been mostly on the far side of the volcano, facing the Pacific coast.

The eruption on Sunday sent columns of ash and smoke 6.2 miles into the sky, dusting several regions with ash. Thousands of people have been evacuated, Conred said.

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Cuban Medical Brigade with Guatemala in National Emergency

Staff of the Cuban Medical Brigade in Guatemala (BMC) remains at the disposal of the health authorities of the southern department of Escuintla, one of the three most affected by the eruption of the Volcan de Fuego.

In statements to Prensa Latina, Yuri Batista, head of the BMC, stated that until midnight four doctors and the same number of nurses supported the work to help the victims in one of the evacuation centers in Escuintla.

Today the 27 Cuban employees who work in the area are well and remain giving health coverage in their communities and hospitals, but alert to assume any help requested by the Guatemalan Ministry of Health.

M dicos cubanos para Hait

The Embassy of Cuba here reiterated its deepest condolences to the people, government and relatives of the victims, and made clear the commitment of its doctors to stay close to the neediest in this difficult moment as it has shown over 20 years of presence uninterrupted in this Central American country.

Although Escuintla was the place most affected by the fury of the Volcano of Fire, the damages were also registered in Chimaltenango and Sacatepéquez, which remain in a state of public calamity.

So far, the official death toll remains at 25, but rescue work continues and more victims appear as rescuers manage to enter villages near the volcano that are cut off by lava, ash and sand.

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25 Killed, Over 2000 Evacuated As Guatemalan Volcano Erupts, City Airport Shut

Farmers covered in ash fled for their lives as civil defense staffers tried to relocate them to shelters during the event.

Guatemala City: 

Highlights

  1. The strong eruption was the second major one this year
  2. The dead were from farming communities just south of the volcano
  3. The Spanish colonial-era city is Guatemala's top tourist attraction

At least 25 people were killed when Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted Sunday, belching ash and rock and forcing the airport to close, the country's disaster agency said.

"The toll was 25 dead as of 9:00 pm (0300 GMT Monday)," the spokesman for the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conred) said in a WhatsApp group.

Search and rescue operations for the missing and dead have been suspended due to low light and dangerous conditions, and will resume early on Monday morning, the spokesman said.

The eruption sent ash billowing over the surrounding area, turning plants and trees gray and blanketing streets, cars and people. 

Farmers covered in ash fled for their lives as civil defense staffers tried to relocate them to shelters during the event.

Earlier, Conred chief Sergio Cabanas and President Jimmy Morales held a news conference, saying that the eruption left seven dead, 20 injured and affected more than 1.7 million people.

Morales announced a red alert for Escuintla, Chimaltenango and Sacatepequez, the areas most affected by the eruption, and an orange alert throughout the country.

The president said he and his government would determine whether to ask Congress to declare a state of emergency in the areas, while at the same time appealing to the population for calm.

guatemala volcano ash afpAshes from the volcano covered vehicles, resulted in airport shutdown

Hundreds of personnel from the police, Red Cross and military have been dispatched to support emergency operations, Morales said.

Cabanas said that the dead included a civil protection official and others trapped by muddy material that descended from the 3,763-meter (12,346-foot) volcano.

Twenty people suffered burn injuries, and more than 3,000 were evacuated due to the eruption, which affected rural communities around the volcano as well as Antigua Guatemala, a colonial-era town very popular with tourists in the Central American country, he said.

There are also "missing persons, but we do not know how many," Cabanas said, adding that lava had blocked entry to several communities.

Dense ash blasted out by the volcano shut down Guatemala City's international airport, civil aviation said.

People were working to clean ash off the runways to get the airport operating again.

It is the second major eruption this year from the peak, following another that subsided at the beginning of February after sending ash towering 1.7 kilometers into the sky.

Guatemala has two other active volcanoes, Santiaguito in the west and Pacaya just south of the capital.

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At Least 29 Girls Killed in Fire at Guatemala Teen Shelter

Tuesday night, riot police were sent in to quell unrest over the crowded living conditions at the home.

The death toll from a fire at a government-run home for abused teens in Guatemala rose Thursday to 29 with nearly 40 others injured, local media reported, after dozens of residents had escaped the overcrowded home following an overnight melee the day before.

RELATED: Bat-Wielding Guatemalan Grannies Protect Residents from Gangs

A crowd of relatives, many of them wailing with grief, gathered outside the Virgen de Asuncion home for children up to 18 years old, in the municipality of San Jose Pinula, some 15 miles southwest of the capital, Guatemala City.

Nery Ramos, the head of Guatemala’s national police, initially said from the scene that 19 girls were confirmed dead, and later the number rose to 29, local media re. Burnt bodies partially covered in blankets were strewn across the floor of a blackened room in the home, pictures posted on Twitter by the firefighters showed.

“This is a painful situation,” Ramos said, adding that the fire had been started by a group of young people at the center, a public institution where conditions are often dismal, with widespread overcrowding, as an act of public mutiny and an attempt to escape. Local media said more than 800 children lived there, despite its capacity to hold only 500.

Tuesday night, riot police were sent in to quell unrest over the crowded living conditions at the home during which some 60 residents escaped, images on Guatemalan television news showed. Pablo Castillo, a spokesman for Guatemalan police, told Reuters that 38 children had been transferred to local hospitals with burns, some of them severe. Authorities have been working to identify victims, but said DNA tests might be necessary for some remains.

RELATED: Recognition of Indigenous Justice System Stalls in Guatemala

Outside the home Wednesday, Andrea Palomo told reporters in tears that she had brought her 15-year-old son to the home to discipline him. But he told her he was mistreated and complained that gang members there tattooed the children.

“We have been given no information since last night,” Palomo said outside the home, which takes in children who have been abandoned as well as victims of abuse and trafficking.

The home is run by the ministry of social welfare, with the attorney general for human rights deciding which children are placed in the home. Hours after the fire, President Jimmy Morales expressed his condolences in a statement, and declared three days of national mourning in the country. 

Over the years, the shelter, named the Virgin of the Assumption Safe Home, has received many complaints of its dismal living conditions and instances of abuse.

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