At least 75 people have died and nearly 200 have been reported as missing following the eruption of the Volcán de Fuego, or “Volcano of Fire,” on Sunday in Guatemala. A further eruption yesterday (Tuesday) at around 14:20 local time prompted further evacuations of the Escuintla area. Authorities have warned of increased volcanic activity and are strongly urging against travel to Chimaltenango, and Sacatepequez, including Antigua.

CBS News reports that ‘Sunday’s violent eruption left many residents with just minutes to try to escape. Government officials held off for hours on issuing a warning because they believed the threat was diminishing before the blast.’

La Aurora international airport reopened on Tuesday morning, and flights resumed around 09:30.

If you are in Guatemala, you should – 

  • Monitor local media.
  • Agree a plan with all the members of your group. Ready.gov offers advice on how to survive volcanic eruptions and what to do in the aftermath.
  • Comply with all instructions from authorities. If you are told to leave, follow the recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts – they may be blocked.
  • If you are near the affected area, start gathering together items you will need if you have to leave with short notice. Ready.gov has more information, including what you should include in your emergency supply kit.
  • Contact your travel agent and/or airline for further updates and support on your travel plans.
  • Follow the twitter accounts listed below and turn on push notifications for those accounts, so that you get an alert on your phone when they share new information.
  • Keep in touch with friends and family.

Further travel advice can be found below.

Twitter accounts to follow

We will update this list as/when we find more useful accounts.

Advice

From the US Embassy in Guatemala on Tuesday 5th June

Location: Sacatepéquez, Chimaltenango, Escuintla

Event: On Tuesday, June 5, Fuego Volcano erupted again at approximately 2:10 p.m. local time. The new eruption dispersed hot gas and volcanic matter into the air in the direction of west and northwest, but the direction could change in accordance with prevailing winds.

The Guatemalan governmental agency for natural disasters (CONRED) has ordered an evacuation of some of the Escuintla area and strongly urges against travel to Chimaltenango, and Sacatepequez, including Antigua.  CONRED also recommends that tourists should not attempt to hike the volcano.

With heavy rains expected over the weekend, Lahars (a mixture of water, ash and debris) are expected to inundate many of the major thoroughfares in Guatemala, causing hazardous conditions.

The following roads are closed to all Embassy personnel for both personal and official travel through Sunday, June 10, 2018:

CA – 1 westbound
CA – 2 westbound
CA – 9 from Guatemala City to San Jose Port
RN – 14 is permanently closed by Guatemalan Government

Embassy Operations: Embassy operations are normal.

Actions to Take: CONRED recommendations in case of falling ashes

  • Cover your eyes, mouth and nose
  • Cover food and potable water storage containers
  • If you have respiratory problems seek medical attention
  • Once the ashes stop falling, clean your rooftops to avoid additional damage
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities

Assistance:

Please click here for the embassy website, which includes contact information and other alerts and advice.

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