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Jun 5, 2018

How You Can Help Victims of Guatemala Volcano Disaster

Disturbing images of death and destruction continue to emerge in the wake of the eruption of Volcan de Fuego in Antigua in neighboring Guatemala. The death toll is rising as Guatemala continues to grapple with one of its worst natural disasters. The Belize Red Cross has launched an appeal for cash donations since the organization cannot handle other forms of assistance. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Guatemalan authorities have increased the confirmed death toll from the eruption of the Volcan de Fuego to sixty-nine. The deadly volcano erupted on Sunday and ash spread across a fifteen kilometer radius, covering several villages. Reports from Guatemala’s disaster agency, the National Coordinator for Disaster Reductions, say that over fifty persons were injured, one thousand nine hundred and sixteen persons have been sheltered, three thousand two hundred and seventy-one have been evacuated and one point seven million have been affected but as searches continue, the numbers change.  Guatemala’s National Institute of Forensic Sciences reports that while sixty-nine have been confirmed dead, many others are missing and presumed dead; and only seventeen of the dead have been identified so far.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“We join in mourning the loss of life and the immense suffering being brought upon the people of Guatemala as a result of the recent volcanic eruptions. We call on the government and all Belizeans to offer whatever humanitarian assistance we can to our neighbour Guatemala and will support efforts by the government to provide assistance through regional organizations.”

 

On Monday, in the wake of the eruption, Israel delivered food, blankets and medicine through its embassy in Guatemala. Several humanitarian organizations are also responding; human resources personnel and other forms of assistance are expected to assist families in Chimaltenango, Sacatepéquez, Escuintla, Mixco and areas of Guatemala City that are affected.

 

Lily Bowman

Lily Bowman, Executive Director, Belize Red Cross

“The Guatemalan Red Cross is of course out there responding and several hundreds of their volunteers are on standby to be called upon. They have been working their ambulances, people have been reporting in great numbers into the Red Cross hospital and of course, Red Cross is also assisting with the traces of missing people through our Restoring Family Links Programme. So there is a great link of work to be done and while we are not there seeing the impact, we can see the pictures in the news and that alone can tell you what the people are suffering. So in times like this, the Red Cross does step over the borders and help.”

 

The Belize Red Cross has since launched a monetary appeal to help survivors of the volcano eruption, as wounded and traumatized survivors continue to be rushed to hospitals by the sister Red Cross organization in Guatemala. It’s a dire time for the Red Cross family, says Executive Director Lily Bowman.

 

Lily Bowman

“That’s a sister national society and they are in trouble, they need our help. So we do cross borders. As our seven fundamental principles would say, we cross borders to help; although we may in this case be crossing borders with financial assistance. So we have launched an appeal today to support the efforts of the Red Cross in the response to this terrible volcano eruption that has so far cause the death of at least sixty-two people and so many—a number of undetermined people have been missing.”

 

Bowman says that they are responding to the call of many businesses and persons who have been asking how they can assist.

 

Lily Bowman

“Unfortunately, the Belize Red Cross cannot accept in kind donations: that’s clothing, food items; we do not have storage capacity for this. Also it is very expensive to move from our offices to the Guatemalan Red Cross Office. However, we believe that launching our appeal for monetary assistance is going to help a great deal because they can put that money directly into the most needed areas for people who have been affected.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

Belize Red Cross Disaster Appeal Accounts are as follows: Heritage Bank account number 108-26-65; Belize Bank account number 135-648-01-01-20-001 and Scotia Bank Belize account number 913-32-46

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2 Responses for “How You Can Help Victims of Guatemala Volcano Disaster”

  1. spike says:

    The reason this volcanic eruption occurred is because God is angry at Guatemala for trying to take over Belize.

  2. Rose says:

    Was there this much level of response last year when Mexico suffered more than one horrible earthquake disaster? Dont think so. Has Guatemala ever reached out to us in our time of need? Dont think so. Mexico has always been there for us – ready to help at the blink of an eye.

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