Thousands of people are in urgent need of assistance after a deadly volcanic blast erupted from Guatemala’s Fuego Volcano, international humanitarian aid organisation CARE has warned.
At least 25 people have so far been confirmed dead following the eruption and more than 3,200 people have fled their homes and communities, with a total of 1.7 million people affected.
CARE Guatemala Country Director Ada Zambrano said food, shelter and clean water were the top priorities.
“Our aim is to ensure that families are safe and accounted for as we determine how best to help survivors get back on their feet.”
CARE has staff on the ground in the affected area and is in close contact with local leaders and authorities involved in coordinating the response, such as the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres.
The Guatemalan government has declared a state of public calamity and authorities have begun search and rescue operations to locate missing people.
CARE will continue to monitor and assess the impact of the eruption and the needs of those affected. CARE is particularly concerned about the wellbeing of women and girls who often are most vulnerable when disaster strikes.
CARE has worked in Guatemala since 1959. Last year, CARE directly reached more than 14 million people through humanitarian response work. Donations to CARE Australia’s Global Emergency Fund can be made at www.care.org.au/emergency