Guatemala City, 5 June 2018. UN Country Team in Guatemala continues an extensive needs assessment following the eruption of the El Fuego volcano. The humanitarian coordination team— which is of over 60 experts from the UN, NGOs and national authorities—had to halt their work near the affected areas due to an evacuation alert issued yesterday following new explosions of the volcano. The pyroclastic material—the fragments of rock erupted by the volcano— was directed towards the south-center city of Escuintla, where the largest number of shelters are located and where the needs assessment would be focusing. National authorities warn that conditions could be aggravated this afternoon due to the ongoing rain, which risks spreading toxic ashes, currently on the ground and in the air.
The UN System has activated the clusters of shelters (including food security and nutrition), water and sanitation, health, protection and early recovery. The UN team’s situation room, installed on Monday June 4, continues working around the clock to consolidate supplies for a possible humanitarian appeal.