On June 3rd, Volcán de Fuego erupted in southern Guatemala. It is the country’s deadliest volcanic eruption since 1929. Ash and molten rock, reaching 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit and traveling around 100 mph, fell onto surrounding communities. An even larger set of communities is affected by thick ash cover (Source: ABC). Heavy rainfall during part of the eruption also caused lahars, destructive mudflows on the slopes of the volcano. Several villages and road networks near the volcano have been buried by lahars. Response: Response efforts are being coordination by Guatemala’s National Coordination for Disaster Reduction (CONRED). Primary needs are: hospital care, search and rescue, and shelter. (Source: SAVE THE CHILDREN). Search and rescue operations were temporarily suspended on June 7th due to severe weather.
Samaritan’s Purse has staff on the ground in Guatemala to work with churches and deliver emergency assistance to those who need it most. Clean water is an urgent need because the sources of water have been contaminated by volcanic ash. Our partners will also be handing out food, sleeping mats, hygiene kits, and other desperately needed supplies.
Direct Relief is currently coordinating with the Pan American Health Organization, local partners, and pharmaceutical companies with manufacturing capacity in the region. Direct Relief is working with local partners, including Nuestros Ahijados, Presbiterio Kaqchikel, and Fundación Proemigrant, which are all responding to needs of those displaced and injured by the volcanic eruption. Direct Relief is funding the purchase of equipment for first responders, as well as sending other supplies needed to care for thousands of displaced people in the region.
Catholic Relief Services, Inc.
CRS is coordinating with government and local actors, including the Church, to provide food, water, medicine and other lifesaving relief items to those impacted by the disaster. The Church has also opened three shelters for the displaced, and the number of people seeking refuge continues to grow.
CARE has worked in Guatemala since 1959. We will continue to monitor and assess the impact of the eruption and the needs of those affected, as our team on the ground prepares an appropriate response. CARE is active in the affected area, where it has supported communities in their coffee and avocado production. Significant crop losses are being reported, and the volcanic blast and risk for new eruptions have forced families working in the agricultural sector to flee their homes and farms. CARE has personnel on the ground and is in close contact with local leaders, coordinating a response with OCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) and Guatemala City-based CONRED (Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres). CARE has activated an eight-member CARE team to assist in the response as needed.