The tragic toll of the eruption of the Volcán de Fuego, Guatemala, is increasing. The latest bulletin from the government body for civil defence CONRED provided the following figures: 78 dead; 12,089 evacuated; 3,319 hosted in hotels or shelters. At present, the missing would be about 200, but other sources say 1,000 people. Rescue and search for the missing are carried out in difficult conditions, above all, in the municipalities of Escuintla, Chimaltenengo and Sacatepéquez, since alarm is not over, yet. In the last few hours, too, eruption phenomena have been going on; lava is coming out from a nearby volcano, too, the Pacaya. In this difficult conditions, Bishop of Zacapa and President of Caritas Guatemala Msgr. Ángel Antonio Recinos Lemus posted a video in Facebook: an appeal to the Caritas International network:“Dear Caritas brothers, I address you with sadness, as well as much hope before the sufferings of so many brothers. Our land enjoys the wonderful blessing of biodiversity, but it is also exposed to tragedies. Preparing for emergencies is a compulsory task for us, increasing solidarity and communication. I am making an appeal to the International Caritas Confederation to join us in praying for the dead, the missing and the people surviving this tragedy. In the next few hours, I will share information on the damage caused by this natural disaster, and on the needs meant to ease the pains of the suffering ones”.
The bishop concluded: “It is a terrible event: people dead or missing, wounded, evacuated, families hosted in hotels; however, the people’s solidarity was impressive: citizens, institutions, schools, volunteers. Someone risked their lives to save other people. I ask for brotherly help from Caritas International. Even before ascertaining damage entity, it is essential to assist families through a psychosocial help service, by recovering sustenance means, giving them good houses”.