Guatemala - Fuego volcano eruption: what will be the consequences?

14 June 2018

(ANS - San Benito) - "It will take at least six months to have a reliable assessment". Fr Giampiero de Nardi, a Salesian missionary in Guatemala, active in the Petén region, fears that it will take a long time for the population of the regions affected by the eruption of the Fuego volcano to recover from this disaster.

Firstly, because there are organizational and logistical problems. The Salesian tells us: "Someone may be amazed at the difference between official data (which speak of about 100 dead and about 200 missing) and other estimates (some have hypothesized thousands of victims, AN). But here the registry system is very approximate. When I arrived in San Benito, the place where I live today, they had spoken to me of 23-25 ​​thousand faithful. The following year, when you had to register for the electoral lists, they became 57,000! This is why it is very difficult to estimate how many people have remained under the ashes."

Moreover, the eruption of the Fuego volcano made other problems of the administrative system visible: "in a territory with a high seismic risk and full of volcanoes there was no budget for the calamities. They have now made a law in a few days. And then there is a very high level of corruption, even compared to other countries in the region," adds the missionary.

Unfortunately, the areas most affected by the natural disaster were also the richest in Guatemala, and this raises many questions and doubts about the future: "The affected area has a very high population density, and is one of the few in the country with an agriculture that is, to some extent, developed. It is the most fertile area of ​​Guatemala and an economic lung for this country, on average very poor. Well, what will be the long-term effects of the eruption? I think, for example, of the toxic gases that have developed, to the volcanic powders that have been deposited for many kilometers. What will be the damage to people's health, to agriculture, to livestock?"

Some signs of hope, however, still exist: "I see great solidarity - he says - the country has mobilized."

Meanwhile, the Salesians of the whole Province of Central America continue to work together to help the people who lost everything because of the eruption. In addition to the collection center that has been active for days at the Mesoamerican University of Guatemala, which is a Salesian structure, another has been opened in El Salvador, at the "Ricaldone" Technical Institute.

Source: Sir. Agency


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

This site also uses third-party cookies to improve user experience and for statistical purposes. By scrolling through this page or by clicking on any of its elements, you consent to the use of cookies. To learn more or to opt out, click "Further Information".