On 3 June 2018, Volcan de Fuego (Volcano of Fire) strongly erupted, provoking floods of lava and mud along with ash, gaseous, and ballistic (small rocks) emissions. The National Centre of Vulcanology has reported that the eruption is over, although ash is still falling in a range of 20 km from the crater. Twenty-five (25) people were confirmed dead, 20 people were injured, 3,100 people were evacuated and over 1.7 million people were affected. One entire community (El Rodeo, population 4,000 to 5,000) is suspected to be buried. The Guatemalan Government is conducting search and rescue operations. A national high-level alert exists for the provinces of Escuitla, Chimaltenango, and Sacatepequez. (Source, ReliefWeb.org)
BGR area directors for the Americas and local partners are in the general area of the eruption, along with a volunteer team from the USA that had been helping with another project nearby. The team was working about six miles from the disaster but is safe and able to help with an initial response. BGR has released funds to help the displaced families now housed in local Baptist churches. We also are working with local Baptist pastors and churches to help provide shelter, food, and support for those affected.
Pray for BGR partners and area directors and for the volunteer team members as they respond to this localized disaster. Ask God to give them wisdom and understanding regarding how best to help those displaced and how to coordinate with Guatemalan government officials in relief efforts. Pray for the community of El Rodeo and the search and rescue operations currently underway. If you would like to help minister to those affected by this disaster, please pray and consider giving to BGR’s disaster response fund at www.gobgr.org/disaster