Fuego volcano erupts in Guatemala

A Guatemalan search and rescue team operates in El Rodeo, Escuintla, 22 miles southwest of Guatemala City, after volcano Fuego's June 3 eruption

On June 3, 2018, Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupted in the provinces of Chimaltenango, Escuintla and Sacatepéquez, where the Guatemalan government has declared a State of Public Calamity, with over 1.7 million people affected.

More than 3,200 people have fled their homes and communities and 65 people have been killed. At this time, the primary needs include shelter and household items such as mattresses and blankets, as many families are sleeping, unprotected, on the ground.

“Some communities have been buried under the lava and the ashes,” said Carmen Wilson, who is handling communications for CARE Guatemala’s emergency response team.  “People who live around the volcano are used to the constant sounds of small explosions in the volcano, so they were not seriously alarmed by the sounds this time.”

CARE is active in the area, where it has supported communities with coffee and avocado production. Crops have been seriously damaged and the volcanic blast and risk for new eruptions has forced families working in the agricultural sector to flee their homes and farms. Thousands are seeking shelter as heavy rains could intensify the emergency.

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