Violent Volcanic Eruption in Guatemala Affects 1.7 Million; At Least 110 Dead

On June 3, Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupted violently, spewing a fiery mix of ash, lava and gases. Nearby residents had little time to evacuate. The death toll has risen to 110, with hundreds more still missing, and that number is expected to rise as rescuers reach affected towns. Volcanic ash reached a 12-mile radius, and wind conditions lead to concerns of greater spread. According to government disaster agency CONRED, more than 3,100 people have been evacuated and 1.7 million affected by the eruption. Dazed survivors continue to search for loved ones potentially buried in the debris.

A man cries after reaching his neighborhood near the Volcan de Fuego, or “Volcano of Fire,” in Escuintla, Guatemala, Monday, June 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Oliver de Ros/  

Multiple PQMD members are actively responding to the devastation left by the eruption, with many more monitoring and evaluating aid response in the area. Members including Americares, CMMB, Direct Relief, Heart to Heart International, MedShare, Project C.U.R.E., Project Hope, and World Vision are working with partners both within PQMD, including BD, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Baxter, Takeda, BI, GSK, Henry Schein and Medtronic, and outside of the organization, to include the Red Cross and Order of Malta.

Members continue to assess how they can best aid recovery and relief efforts. To date, responses have included both pre-positioned product in addition to specific donations with emphasis on burn creams, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics, hydration & hygiene supplies, masks, and clothing. As further requests arise, and donations broaden, PQMD members will continue to aid as rapidly as possible.

Read more about the eruption, and how it differs from the recent eruption in Hawaii, here.