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Volcanic blast about 24 miles southwest of Guatemala City leaves thousands seeking shelter, water, food, clothing and medical care.

GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupted June 3 in the provinces of Chimaltenango, Escuintla and Sacatepéquez, where the Guatemalan government has declared a State of Public Calamity. CARE is active in the area, monitoring the situation and ready to respond to the disaster that has killed at least 69 people and affected 1.7 million.

With more than 3,200 people having already fled their homes and communities, the primary needs include shelter, medical care, food, water and clothing. Authorities have begun search and rescue operations to locate missing persons. CARE has personnel on the ground in the affected area 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 a twelve-member CARE team to assist in the response as needed.

“We have worked in the affected communities for a long time and have developed longstanding relationships with the people there,” said Ada Zambrano, CARE’s country director in Guatemala. “Our priority is to ensure that families are safe and accounted for, even as we determine how best to help survivors get back on their feet for the long term.”

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 its team on the ground prepares an appropriate response. CARE is particularly concerned about the well-being of women and girls who often are most vulnerable when disaster strikes, whether natural or man-made.

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To arrange an interview with CARE's team in Guatemala, contact:

Darcy Knoll
Communications Specialist | CARE Canada
darcy.knoll@care.ca | 613.228.5641