Fuego Volcano, located approximately 25 miles from Guatemala’s capital city, erupted on June 3. The eruption is the volcano’s most powerful in more than 40 years.
The volcano continued to spew lava, ash, and mudflows for several days following the initial eruption. According to the Guatemalan government, more than 1.7 million people were affected.
More than 12,000 people were evacuated from the most affected areas. At least 100 people were confirmed to have been killed.
The disaster has left the affected population with a number of needs. The ash has contaminated water sources, limiting access to clean drinking water and damaging vital water-related infrastructure. Those who suffered injuries are being treated for burns and respiratory issues, but damage to health facilities and transportation networks has left many without access to medical care. The lava and ash have also damaged crops and killed livestock, raising food security concerns and impacting families’ livelihoods.
The American Red Cross is contributing $250,000 to the IFRC emergency appeal to support the Guatemalan Red Cross as it continues to respond to the most immediate needs of those affected by the disaster.
The Guatemalan Red Cross has been actively responding to the disaster since its onset, and has mobilized more than 1,600 volunteers from all 21 of its branches. It is also coordinating closely with CONRED, the country’s national civil protection agency. Response teams have provided pre-hospital care and transportation of patients to hospitals, supported blood collection efforts, and has supported the setup and management of evacuation shelters.
The Guatemalan Red Cross is coordinating with the Mexican Red Cross to distribute vital relief supplies, including food, breathing masks, blankets, hygiene kits, sleeping bags, mattresses, and tents. To date, teams have distributed more than 130 tons of supplies.
IFRC has issued an emergency appeal for $2 million to support the Guatemalan Red Cross in meeting the immediate needs of 6,000 people. The appeal focuses on livelihoods, health, and disaster risk reduction.
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For questions related to this report, contact:
Disaster Information Analyst, International Services