Guatemala’s Volcán de Fuego erupted on Sunday 3rd June, at around noon local time. It sent a dark cloud of ash and rocks in the air and lava flowing down its sides. It has caused 69 fatalities, more than any other previously recorded at the volcano.
The amount of people missing is still unknown, and families and local people are desperately searching for their loved ones. Rescue teams wearing protective equipment are being sent into the reachable areas to search for bodies.
What type of Volcano is Fuego?
Fuego is a stratovolcano located on the Ring of Fire, a string of volcanoes and tectonic plates around the Pacific. Whilst it is not unusual for Volcán de Fuego to have regular, small eruptions, this week has seen the most catastrophic volcanic activity in 4 decades.
Actions to be taken
More than 3200 people have been evacuated from areas near to the volcano, after ash devastated their homes and communities. Rescue teams continue to search for missing persons, and whilst the eruption may be over, there may still be danger. If heavy rains were to fall on the ash, mudslides could pose further harm to local areas.
What does this mean for travellers?
All tourists visiting Guatemala are in safe locations, according to information by INGUAT, and the destinations visited by tourists are out of danger. The Aurora International Airport has resumed its operations.
It is advised to stay far from the eruption zone, and to stay calm. If you are selflessly interested in sustainable volontourism, or if you have any specific skills (nurse, therapist, bilingual speaker etc), Guatemala may be of need of volunteers to help in shelters and other such environments in the coming weeks. Remember that this event has devastated many families, so remain respectful of this during your visit, and still try to enjoy Guatemala’s rich history and beautiful culture.