More than 1.7 million people have been affected by Sunday’s eruption, with more than 3,000 evacuated.
Volcan de Fuego, which means “Volcano of Fire” in Spanish, is one of several active volcanoes among 34 in the Central American country.
The official death toll, which stood at more than 75, was sure to rise, with at least 197 people listed as missing.
“My cousins Ingrid, Yomira, Paola, Jennifer, Michael, Andrea and Silvia, who was just 2 years old”, the woman said – a litany that brought into sharp relief the scope of a disaster for which the final death toll is far from clear.
It sent huge clouds of ash barrelling over the surrounding area, blanketing roads, cars and people in thick grey dust as a river of molten mud carved a path down the mountain, sweeping away entire villages. These flows – a combination of ash, rock and volcanic gases – travel so fast during an eruption that its impossible for anything to outrun them.
One of the volcano’s victims, Boris Rodríguez, told the BBC how the eruption had wiped out most of his family in a single day, including his wife, her parents and her siblings, and their children. “We are going to have to resort to other methods. and if possible take DNA samples to identify them”.
With the rain also comes the growing possibility of slides of ash, mud and debris, authorities said.
The country’s seismology and volcanology institute warned of new flows descending Wednesday afternoon through canyons on the volcano’s western slope, carrying boulders and tree trunks.
During Volcan De Fuego’s 2015 eruption, it spewed lava and pyroclastic flows which posed a more serious threat.
The areas hardest hit included the towns of El Rodeo, Alotenango and San Miguel los Lotes.
Alfonso Castillo, a 33-year-old farm worker, said nothing seemed abnormal on Sunday – but then the situation became significantly more unsafe.
Hundreds of homes have been destroyed since the volcano began erupting a month ago and shelters are starting to reach capacity.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales attend a reception at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on May 16, 2018.
Authorities have said the window is closing on the chances of finding anyone else alive in the devastation. “We will probe the area as many times as necessary”, said Sergio Cabanas, the head of Guatemala’s disaster relief agency.