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Guatemala volcano death toll raised to 99

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Image: EPA/Santiago Billy

Guatemala's National Institute of Forensic Sciences has raised the death toll from Sunday's eruption of the Fuego Volcano to 99.

About 190 people are still reported to be missing.

The institute on Wednesday said that 28 of the recovered bodies have been identified.

Rescuers resumed the search on Wednesday, and were able recover some remains. But late in the afternoon, the country's disaster agency announced it was suspending the search again because of flows of volcanic material and falling rain.

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A rescue worker carries a flock of farm birds rescued from homes destroyed by the Volcan de Fuego, or "Volcano of Fire," eruption, in El Rodeo, Guatemala, Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Rescuers were concerned about possible dangers posed not only by more volcanic flows but also rain. Authorities have said the window is closing on the chances of finding anyone else alive in the devastation. Image: AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

The super-heated debris that buried victims on Sunday left many bodies unrecognisable. DNA testing and other methods will be required to identify them.

Meanwhile, the country's seismology and volcanology institute is warning of new volcanic flows on the western slope of the volcano.

The institute warned people to be alert and avoid the area.

It said in a statement that a so-called lahar about 30 to 40 metres wide and 4 to 5 metres high was descending through the Seca and Mineral Canyons toward the Pantaleon river.

The superheated flow of volcanic gases and mud sweeps along boulders and tree trunks.

At least 75 people had previously been confirmed dead as a result of Sunday's eruption of the volcano, its biggest eruption in four decades.

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Volcanic ash blankets a home destroyed by the Volcan de Fuego, or "Volcano of Fire," eruption, in Escuintla, Guatemala, Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Wednesday morning rescuers were concerned about possible dangers posed not only by more volcanic flows but also rain. Authorities have said the window is closing on the chances of finding anyone else alive in the devastation. Image: AP Photo/Moises Castillo

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