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Asciende a 62 muertos por la erupción del volcán de Fuego en Guatemala

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La erupción del volcán de Fuego el pasado domingo fue la más fuerte del cráter desde 1974, es una tragedia cuyo alcance todavía se desconoce. Oficialmente la cifra de fallecidos asciende a 62 personas, pero el hallazgo de más cuerpos podría aumentar el total de muertos.

 

Sólo en las inmediaciones de la aldea El Rodeo (Escuintla, en el sur de Guatemala, la zona más afectada) los socorristas han localizado 29 cadáveres. Nueve de ellos ya han sido trasladados a la morgue. El resto no pudo ser evacuado por el momento debido a que los rescatistas tuvieron que abandonar su labor por nuevos ríos de lava; los agentes están esperando reanudarla en cuanto existan las condiciones mínimas de seguridad.

El máximo responsable de la Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres (Conred), Sergio García, afirmó la noche del domingo que se contabilizaban 3.100 personas evacuadas y 1,7 millones de ciudadanos afectados por la explosión. De momento se desconoce el número de desaparecidos y el de refugiados, ya que muchos de ellos han buscado acogida en casas de familiares o amigos. Al menos tres aldeas desaparecieron bajo toneladas de ceniza.

Resultado de imagen para Van 62 muertos por la erupción del volcán de Fuego en Guatemala

Una tragedia natural ha vuelto a golpear a los más débiles. Ciudadanos anónimos que luchan de sol a sol para tener, en el mejor de los casos, un plato de comida caliente al día. Los héroes, que también los hay, son igualmente ciudadanos anónimos: bomberos, policías y soldados rasos que se juegan la vida en el lugar de la tragedia, sin contar con el equipamiento mínimo necesario para enfrentar la emergencia. Los gobernantes, en tanto, se pierden en la burocracia que solo complica la fluidez de la ayuda que, gracias a la generosidad de los guatemaltecos, llega con abundancia a los centros de acopio.

 

Las imágenes hablaban por sí solas. Contemplar a un bombero llorar después de salir de la zona de la tragedia donde pudo ver entre los escombros de las casas a familias enteras calcinadas por la lava volcánica, es una de ellas. Mujeres que caminan como zombis intentando saber la suerte de sus seres queridos, incapaces de entender que no deben llegar hasta sus antiguas viviendas, sin grave riesgo para sus vidas, es otra.

 

La tragedia se produjo al filo de las tres de las tardes del domingo (hora local) cuando una avalancha de lava volcánica, piedras y lodo se precipitó sobre varias comunidades ubicadas en las faldas del cráter. No todos lograron escapar. Familias completas quedaron atrapadas en sus humildes viviendas. Otras en una iglesia evangélica, donde asistían a la misa dominical. Algunos cuerpos, como el de una mujer embarazada, quedaron calcinados bajo las expulsiones volcánicas.

 

Entre los heridos considerados como “muy graves” se encuentran cuatro niños con quemaduras de tercer y cuarto grado. Por lo menos uno de ellos sobrevive con respiración asistida. No es fácil establecer una cifra de heridos, porque cambia con el paso de las horas, mientras se desvanece la esperanza de encontrar a más supervivientes.

 

Si humanamente las víctimas no han sido cuantificadas, el aspecto material ni siquiera ha sido atendido. Expertos como Gustavo Chigna, del Instituto de Sismología, Vulcanología, Meteorología e Hidrología (Insivumeh), calcula que las cosechas, particularmente de maíz y café, habrían quedado reducidas a cenizas en un radio de cinco kilómetros alrededor del volcán.

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Los albergues están saturados, aunque tampoco se sabe a ciencia cierta el número de refugiados, entre otras razones porque muchos lo han hecho en casas de amigos y familiares. No obstante, a las 21.00 del domingo la Conred reportó 653 personas atendidas en refugios de Escuintla y Sacatepéquez.

 

La lluvia de ceniza afectó a por lo menos cinco departamentos (provincias), circunstancia que conlleva el riesgo de contaminación del agua potable, a la vez que pone en riesgo el sistema de drenaje, que puede saturarse. El presidente, Jimmy Morales, declaró el estado de calamidad en todo el territorio guatemalteco, algo que estaba previsto que se aprobase por el poder legislativo la tarde del lunes, en una reunión de emergencia.

 

En tanto, el aeropuerto La Aurora ha sido reabierto y los vuelos nacionales e internacionales empiezan a operar con normalidad.

 

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