Prayers for Guatemala following volcanic eruption

6 June 2018

The Anglican Alliance is calling for prayer and solidarity for the people and churches in Guatemala affected by Sunday’s major volcanic eruption.

The Fuego Volcano had a violent eruption on Sunday, 3 June 2018. An estimated 3,271 people have already been evacuated from the area and further movements are planned. Tragically, at least 70 people have been killed, but this figure is expected to rise as villages near the volcano are inaccessible to rescuers due to lava flow.

The ash fall forced the closure of the Guatemala International Airport, for an initial period of 24 hours. High smoke columns, explosions and ash fall are keeping the population on alert, as volcanic activity continues.

It is possible that 1.7 million people may be affected through intoxication by volcanic ash and acid rain. The volcano is only 27 miles outside Guatemala City.

National response teams and the military are conducting search and rescue operations for those villages buried in the volcanic debris from the eruption. Red Cross teams are already responding with medical support. The churches are also responding to immediate need and will scale up in the coming days.

The Anglican Alliance has been in touch with the Church leadership in Guatemala to assure them of prayer and solidarity.

Bishop Armando Guerra responded to the Anglican Alliance, saying: “Thank you for your support and solidarity in these moments of suffering for many people here in Guatemala.”

And Bishop Silvestre Romero, who is coordinating the disaster response, wrote: “Thank you for your prayers, which sustain and energize us to confront and follow up in a way that reflects the charity and love of God.

“We are in the process of evaluating and identifying the way forward. At the moment we have established collection centres in the affected regions to distribute what we can collect or buy. We will be working to collect information on the situation. Once the rescue processes come to an end we will assess the situation and thus create a long-term action plan.”

Please hold the church and people of Guatemala in your prayers. We will update this page once we know how the Church plans to respond to those affected by the disaster.

Episcopal Relief & Development have already sent emergency support to the Diocese of Guatemala. You can support their general relief fund on this link.