Over 4,000 living in temporary shelters as volcano in Guatemala continues to smoke

Friday 8 June 2018

Across 21 emergency shelters in Guatemala, families are struggling in the aftermath of the two volcanic eruptions that have caused 99 deaths and left almost 200 missing. 

At least 4,100 are now living in shelters—nearly 50 percent of whom are children. 

Save the Children's staff on the ground have reported today that the volcano is still regularly spewing ash and lava, and many fear another eruption.  

Emely*, 12, is in a shelter in Alotenango with her mother and sister.  She says, “When I saw that smoke coming over us, I got quite scared and ran out into the street. I was unable to grab anything, I got into a car with only the clothes I was wearing. I feel sad because we don’t know if we are going back home and because we don’t know if we will be able to return to school to study.” 

Most temporary shelters are currently set up in schools—leaving thousands of children without on a chance to learn. Many families have also lost their livelihoods when the cloud of volcanic ash descended on their villages, fields and crops.

Melany*, a mother of three in one of the Save the Children-supported shelters, said: “We will never see our loved ones again, but thank God we are alive to tell the story. At times my body trembles. My children are asking me when are we going back home and I can’t tell them there is no home to go back to because I don’t want to upset them more.”

Save the Children is working in emergency shelters providing psychosocial support to children, while working to reunify unaccompanied children with their families. 

 

We have a spokesperson on the ground available for interviews. For further information please contact antonia.roupell@savethechildren.org. uk or Rik Goverde rik.goverde@savethechildren.nl

Media line, all hours:  media@savethechildren.org.uk / +44 7831 650409

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