Rescuers tirelessly search for 200 missing near Guatemala volcano

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Guatemala's Fuego volcano has exploded again, sending rescue workers scrambling for cover beneath the smoking peak, as the death toll from the weekend's eruption rose to at least 73.

Only 23 of the bodies recovered so far have been identified.

A man covered with ash after the eruption of the Fuego volcano, in San Miguel Los Lotes in Escuintla.

"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. Numerous victims are unrecognisable, with officials warning that DNA testing and other methods may be needed to identify them.

Guatemala's seismology and volcanology institute is warning of new volcanic flows on the western slope of the Volcano of Fire. Rubin says that when hot ash from a pyroclastic flow settles and mixes with a water source, like rain, it could lead to mud flows called Lahars. The searing hot volcanic material that covered communities near the volcano left numerous bodies unrecognisable so DNA testing or other methods will be necessary for identification.

Workers poked metal rods into the terrain to release smoke, an indication that super-hot temperatures remained below the surface three days after the volcanic explosion that killed at least 75 people.

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But in places like Los Lotes and the village of El Rodeo, about eight miles downslope from the crater, it was too late for many.

Fifty-nine-year-old truck driver Efrain Suarez is a resident of El Rodeo who had come to Los Lotes to check damage to the property of friends and family. "And if heavy machinery comes in they will be torn apart".

Sanchez, the Conred spokesman, said many dogs and cats had been rescued with burns on their paws from the mud and ash, some blinded from the volcanic gases.

By afternoon a new column of smoke was rising from the mountain and Guatemala's disaster agency said volcanic material was descending its south side, prompting an evacuation order and the closure of a nearby national highway.

Diaz said it can be a kind of "consolation" for the displaced, many of whom will never be able to return to their homes.

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