Photos: Woman digs for family lost under the rubble of Guatemalan volcano

Updated On Jun 24, 2018 03:16 PM IST

After Guatemalan rescue workers called off their efforts to search for the missing people, three days since the eruption of Fuego’s volcano; Eufemia Garcia Ixpata, a 48-year-old fruit vendor who lost dozens of her family members in the eruption decided to search on her own. She had no goggles to protect her eyes, rarely wore a mask on her face, and walked impatiently in the rubble, in sandals. During the seven days that Reuters photographer Carlos Jasso accompanied Garcia, she had found one body in the house of her former father-in-law, two at her sister's house, and the partial remains at her mother’s home. But as bodies of three of her children still remain missing, Garcia is determined to continue her search until she has found all of her family members.

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Eufemia Garcia Ixpata, a 48-year-old fruit vendor who lost dozens of family members during the eruption of the Fuego volcano, rests holding a shovel while searching for her family in San Miguel Los Lotes in Escuintla, Guatemala. (Carlos Jasso / REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 24, 2018 03:16 PM IST

Eufemia Garcia Ixpata, a 48-year-old fruit vendor who lost dozens of family members during the eruption of the Fuego volcano, rests holding a shovel while searching for her family in San Miguel Los Lotes in Escuintla, Guatemala. (Carlos Jasso / REUTERS)

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Garcia holds food as she walks to her town in search of her family on the outskirts of San Miguel Los Lotes. She has been sleeping in a school room with other survivors after she lost her family and home. Fuego’s volcano on June 3 ejected tons of earth, ash and colossal stones that buried hundreds of homes and left at least 112 people dead. (Carlos Jasso / REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 24, 2018 03:16 PM IST

Garcia holds food as she walks to her town in search of her family on the outskirts of San Miguel Los Lotes. She has been sleeping in a school room with other survivors after she lost her family and home. Fuego’s volcano on June 3 ejected tons of earth, ash and colossal stones that buried hundreds of homes and left at least 112 people dead. (Carlos Jasso / REUTERS)

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Mexican volunteer rescue workers search the house of one of Garcia's missing sisters in an area affected by the volcano. But the Guatemalan rescue workers only searched during the first three days after the tragedy, calling off efforts as the volcano continued to rumble. (Carlos Jasso / REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 24, 2018 03:16 PM IST

Mexican volunteer rescue workers search the house of one of Garcia's missing sisters in an area affected by the volcano. But the Guatemalan rescue workers only searched during the first three days after the tragedy, calling off efforts as the volcano continued to rumble. (Carlos Jasso / REUTERS)

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Garcia sleeps next to her partner, Fito Perez, after searching for her family in the homes buried by ash. In the early days after the eruption, Garcia thought she had lost all her six children. (Carlos Jasso / REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 24, 2018 03:16 PM IST

Garcia sleeps next to her partner, Fito Perez, after searching for her family in the homes buried by ash. In the early days after the eruption, Garcia thought she had lost all her six children. (Carlos Jasso / REUTERS)

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After the rescue workers stopped the search work, that is when Garcia decided to search on her own.She had no goggles to protect her eyes, rarely wore a mask on her face, and walked impatiently in the rubble, in sandals. (Carlos Jasso / REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 24, 2018 03:16 PM IST

After the rescue workers stopped the search work, that is when Garcia decided to search on her own.She had no goggles to protect her eyes, rarely wore a mask on her face, and walked impatiently in the rubble, in sandals. (Carlos Jasso / REUTERS)

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At Garcia’s mother’s house, she had found only a tooth and a pair of bones. “You see, last Sunday, we found remains of my mom. We found one of the children yesterday. So, we are getting results,” she said. (Carlos Jasso / REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 24, 2018 03:16 PM IST

At Garcia’s mother’s house, she had found only a tooth and a pair of bones. “You see, last Sunday, we found remains of my mom. We found one of the children yesterday. So, we are getting results,” she said. (Carlos Jasso / REUTERS)

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Garcia sits with other residents outside the morgue in Escuintla. An alarm sounds which warns of hot ash, lava fragments, and gases exploding from the volcano and rolling down the mountain, swallowing everything in its path. These alarms suspend the search for more bodies and that is when she returns to the morgue or checks the hospitals. The same routine is continued every day. (Carlos Jasso / REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 24, 2018 03:16 PM IST

Garcia sits with other residents outside the morgue in Escuintla. An alarm sounds which warns of hot ash, lava fragments, and gases exploding from the volcano and rolling down the mountain, swallowing everything in its path. These alarms suspend the search for more bodies and that is when she returns to the morgue or checks the hospitals. The same routine is continued every day. (Carlos Jasso / REUTERS)

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Garcia takes a ride with other residents after a day spent searching for her family. “The volcano has calmed down. It is nothing to worry about, because everything that it had to blow has already been blown out. So now, with the permission of our Lord and the volcano, we are working,” she said. (Carlos Jasso / REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 24, 2018 03:16 PM IST

Garcia takes a ride with other residents after a day spent searching for her family. “The volcano has calmed down. It is nothing to worry about, because everything that it had to blow has already been blown out. So now, with the permission of our Lord and the volcano, we are working,” she said. (Carlos Jasso / REUTERS)

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Garcia is embraced by a rescue worker as she searches for her family. As the days passed, three of her six children, 31, 22 and 19 years old, plus a granddaughter, appeared at different shelters. But the bodies of three of her children remained missing. “I will finish my search when I find them,” she said, drying her tears. (Carlos Jasso / REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 24, 2018 03:16 PM IST

Garcia is embraced by a rescue worker as she searches for her family. As the days passed, three of her six children, 31, 22 and 19 years old, plus a granddaughter, appeared at different shelters. But the bodies of three of her children remained missing. “I will finish my search when I find them,” she said, drying her tears. (Carlos Jasso / REUTERS)

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