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Guatemala: EU deploys experts following recent volcano eruptions

© European Union 2018

A team of eight European experts will fly to Guatemala on Saturday to support national authorities after the multiple eruptions of Volcan de Fuego since 3 June. The team is being deployed though the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism, following a request for assistance issued by the Government of Guatemala.

"We are continuing to support Guatemala following the recent volcano eruptions. Our help through the Union Civil Protection Mechanism is a concrete example of European solidarity to the people of Guatemala and of our readiness to support people in need anywhere in the world, wherever a disaster strikes," said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.

The European team, whose technical expertise ranges from monitoring of volcanic mudflows (lahars), to risk management and early warning systems, will support the Guatemalan national authorities in assessing the situation on the ground and the impact of the eruption, as well as providing recommendations for future preparedness measures.

The deployment of European experts comes on top of the emergency assistance the EU has provided to Guatemala since the volcano erupted. The deployment of European experts comes on top of the €400 000 in emergency assistance, which the EU has provided to Guatemala since the volcano erupted to provide displaced populations in the worst-hit departments with health, water and sanitation assistance, as well as psychosocial support. The EU's Copernicus satellite mapping service was also activated upon request of the Government of Guatemala and has produced 18 maps so far.

Background

On 3 June 2018, Guatemala's Volcan de Fuego erupted, triggering floods of lava and emission of ash and small rocks. The eruption affected different areas of the departments of Chimaltenango, Sacatepéquez, and Escuintla. On 20 June, the volcano was still reported to be active, with four to five weak explosions recorded every hour.

According to the latest figures published by the Guatemalan national authorities, the eruption has left 110 dead, with 197 people still missing. Approximately 12 800 people have been evacuated, and an estimated 3 600 are currently hosted in 17 official shelters.

This EU Civil Protection Mechanism is managed by the European Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), which operates on a 24/7 basis and plays a key role as a coordination hub to facilitate a coherent European response during emergencies inside and outside Europe.

Publication date
22/06/2018