Eduardo Armando Rivero Sánchez, whose daughter went missing after the eruption, was standing by rescue workers in El Rodeo, anxiously awaiting news of any rescues.
“The lava came over and buried the houses,” Sánchez recalled. “We were running away, but many people fell and were left buried.”
The residents of El Rodeo say there was absolutely no warning about the fast-moving lava that followed the eruption. “No alerts went out,” said Sánchez.
In the nearby town of Escuintla, a makeshift shelter has been set up in the church, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. Roughly 300 crouched inside with their few belongings, in shock and in mourning for the loved ones they’ve lost.
Julio López, who was inside, said he saved his 2-year-old daughter and 4-month-old baby but lost eight other relatives. López doesn’t know where he’ll go after the shelter. “My house is gone, my land is gone,” he said.