Guatemala: Emergency response to the volcano eruption – GT181 (Concept Note)

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 109. The agency says that in addition, 58 people were injured, 197 people are missing, the number of people in shelters are 4137, 12,407people have been evacuated from the affected zone. Authorities expect the death toll to rise as more bodies are discovered. As many as 1,713,566 million people may be 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 5 June, 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 6 June, 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. A red alert remains in place for the Escuintla, Sacatepéquez and Chimaltenango departments, as well as in the municipalities of Escuintla.

ACT Guatemala Forum,  through its  local member  Protestant Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America (CEDEPCA, by its spanish acronym) is planning to provide unconditional cash, WASH, Psychosocial support and capacity building to 2160 households affected by the volcanic eruption.