Guatemala: Emergency response to the volcanic eruption – GTM181

The Fuego Volcano, located 27 miles southwest of Guatemala City, erupted around noon on Sunday, June 3, 2018. According to CONRED, Guatemala’s national civil protection authority, the death toll has reached 113. The agency says that in addition, 58 individuals were injured, 197 are missing, 3,557 are staying in shelters, and 12,407 were been evacuated from the affected zone. As many as 1,713,566 people were affected mainly through ash intoxication and acid rain. Volcanic activity has increased after the first eruption on 3 June. Explosions have ranged between moderate and strong, throwing ash some 5,000m into the air. On June 5, authorities issued evacuation alerts that triggered mass panic in the surrounding population, leading to a massive population movement that caused the collapse of critical roads. On June 6, the National Institute for Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (INSIVUMEH) reported that the accumulation of volcanic material resulted in lahar flows down the Seca and Mineral ravines, both of which are tributaries of the Pantaleon river. These lahar flows measure 30-40m in width and 4-5m in height, descending with heat and giving off steam and carrying material similar to a cement mix with rocks that are 2-3m in diameter, putting communities near the ravines and Pantaleon bridge at high risk. New lahar flows are possible if current rainfall continues.

The ACT Guatemala forum through its local member CEDEPCA is providing unconditional cash, hygiene promotion and Psychosocial support  to 2160 households affected by the volcanic eruption.