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“Volcano of Fire” in Guatemala threatens humanitarian disaster

By Oxfam
Oxfam Guatemala is distributing water filters and hygiene kits to people affected by the volcanic eruption. Photo: Oxfam

The eruption of the “Volcan de Fuego” in Guatemala on June 3rd has claimed 65 lives, displaced 3,500 people, and affected at least 1.7 million people, according to local media reports.

It is expected that the death toll will rise in the coming hours, given that there are several communities near the volcano that authorities have not yet been able to contact. The priority right now is to save lives in or near the disaster area; however, persistent rains and falling ash are making this task more difficult.

Oxfam and its partners are evaluating the situation on the ground in close coordination with the Guatemalan government through its National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction, known as CONRED. Any humanitarian response will guarantee the rights of those most vulnerable, which in any disaster situation tend to be women and children. 

Typically in this type of emergency, access to drinking water is a pressing need. Oxfam will focus its first actions on providing safe water to the affected population. Oxfam, with the support of its partner organizations, has begun distributing water filters and hygiene kits to the affected areas.

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