On Sunday, about 25 miles southwest of Guatemala City, Guatemala, the Fuego volcano erupted for 16 and a half hours. According to the Associated Press, 62 people have died and 3,000 others are in need of temporary shelter. As the natural disaster unfolds, you may be wondering how to help Guatemalans affected by the Fuego volcano.
The eruption shot ash, rock, and gas into the sky from one of Latin America's most active volcanic sites, according to the BBC. The last major eruption at the Fuego volcano was in 1974, but the news wire service reported zero deaths in that instance. The volcano erupted back in February as well, with ash reaching 1.1 miles into the air. Reuters reported Monday that smoke and volcanic ash was shot about 6.2 miles into the sky in this latest eruption, coating several surrounding regions.
As Gizmodo reported, the eruption also triggered a pyroclastic flow — that's a combination of hot and quick-moving rock and gas — that covered homes, cars, and villages at the southern edge of the volcano. Experts are concerned the volcano may erupt again and trigger a similar flow over the already ravaged region.
Beyond the question of structural safety, missing people and properties, and mud slides near the volcanic site, Guatemalan authorities also are warning citizens about lahars, a quickly moving volcanic mudflow. Newsweek reported that the mudflows can reach speeds as high as 120 miles per hour, while also bringing objects like a car into its rushing wake.
CNN estimated that 1.7 million people will be affected by the eruption. Rescue operations are now underway, but those living nearest to the volcano did not have much advance warning, CBS News reported. Many organizations and fundraisers are looking for aid to help those local residents most affected.
Donate Money To Cruz Roja Guatemalteca
Cruz Roja Guatemalteca — the Guatemalan division of the Red Cross — is on the ground running blood drives, collecting supplies, and providing medical care. If you're not in Guatemala but still want to provide help, Cruz Roja Guatemalteca published banking information for international donations early Monday morning.
Bring Goods To A Collection Center If You're Already In Guatemala
The Antigua Guatemala Fútbol Club shared collection centers for donations on their official Twitter account. The club is based about 10 miles away from the eruption site. Parts of the historic and restored colonial city Antigua were covered in volcanic ash, as seen in these Getty images.
Gather Specific Food Items For Donation If You're In Guatemala
Sometimes it can overwhelming to know what is best to buy, if you don't feel comfortable donating cash to relief organizations. For those already in the country, Cruz Roja Guatemlateca shared specific foods and cooking materials that the organization is seeking as they provide aid.