Dramatic video showed the moment ash clouds emerged as the Fuego volcano erupted on in Guatemala. According to local media, all guests and staff were safely evacuated.
The volcano shot thick plumes of ash miles (km) into the sky that rained down on nearby towns and a thick smoldering layer of ash and volcanic rock blanketed the tiny hamlet of San Miguel Los Lotes, with only the roofs of some homes sticking out.
Alfonso Castillo, a 33-year-old farm worker, said nothing seemed abnormal on Sunday - but then the situation became significantly more risky.
David De Leon, Guatemala's National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction said due to the volcano's increased activity evacuations of nearby communities were being carried out, an exodus that the AP said was "setting off a panicky flight by people that stalled traffic in some areas".
The country's seismology and volcanology institute warned of new flows descending this afternoon through canyons on the volcano's western slope toward the Pantaleon River, carrying boulders and tree trunks.
The National Forensic Sciences Agency said in a report Wednesday that morgues had received the remains of 99 people killed as a result of the eruption.
It was covered in what he described as a "sea" of muck that came crashing into homes, smothering people, pets and wildlife.
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A baby buried under ash after a volcanic eruption has miraculously survived. The spike in activity there started more than a month ago, but the volcano hasn't caused any deaths.
However, a spokesman for Guatemala's firefighters warned there may be little chance of finding anyone alive after 72 hours pass since the eruption. "They are taking away our opportunity to say goodbye".
The body of a victim is covered in volcanic ash spewed by the Volcan de Fuego, in Escuintla, Guatemala, June 4, 2018. Rescuers are still digging, but not for survivors.
The number of dead is expected to rise, with at least 197 people listed as missing.
"Lavas can be deadly and risky, but they usually move at a more predictable rate and don't spread out as quickly across the land, so it can usually be escaped from before people lose their life", Rubin said.
Guatemalan authorities put the death toll at 69, but officials said just 17 had been identified so far because the intense heat of the volcanic debris flows left most bodies unrecognizable.
In an open-air patio at the shelter, people displaced by the volcano sat on plastic chairs as student hair stylists gave them free haircuts.