Photo credit Oliver De Ros AP
Last Sunday, Volcan De Fuego (Volcano Of Fire) erupted, spilling lava for miles. Initially reports said 6 people lost their lives. That number climbed to 62 within 24 hours. As of this morning, there have been 110 confirmed deaths and 200 still missing. MAYBE. Keep reading.
Rebecca Williams, head of geology at the University of Hull, says that “The river of rock, ash, and gas that was tumbling through villages was not lava flow but rather was something called pyroclastic density currents. The reason they’re dangerous is that they’re the volcanic version of an avalanche, composed of toxic chemicals, 1,000 degree Celsius gases, rocks, and ash.”
We’ve driven over the bridge in that video, probably 25 times. We’ve seen the volcano erupting as we drive. The “avalanche” from Volcan de Fuego raged down the mountain at almost 100 miles an hour.
I’m going to write MY thoughts and observations. I want to relay what I’m hearing, seeing and reading locally.
I don’t think the media is reporting the whole truth. They’re either completely missing the story or I’m making some far reaching assumptions (which is very possible). As of this morning, there are 110 confirmed deaths and about 200 missing. THAT MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. I’ve been reading and watching interviews with people who have lost entire families. One woman said “My family is buried, all 50 of them.” Another article talks about multiple families of 12 or more being swallowed up by the roaring ash.
CONRED, the U.S. version of FEMA, is reporting bodies found. I understand that’s all they can confirm but NO ONE is talking about the possibility of hundreds of bodies buried 12 ft. below the ash. I’m telling you, there are more than the 200 being reported missing and there are more than the reported 4,000 people displaced. I hope I’m wrong.
Anyone who lives in Guatemala, near the volcano, will tell you it erupts all the time. Sometimes daily. Generally, it’s pretty beautiful. Last year Vonda and I camped on the volcano that sits next to Fuego and we heard it erupting all night. We were 2 miles away.
Because it erupts regularly, I’m guessing most people either didn’t get warning or they didn’t believe it. By the time they realized how serious it was, it was too late.
As with many natural disasters, there is a TON of help pouring in from around the country and from around the world. Thank God. Unfortunately, I’m reading that it’s not well coordinated and that there is already looting of supplies going on.
Vonda and I have decided not to do anything…right now. We’re praying daily and we’re collecting names of people who want to help. We have friends who have good relationships with the communities hardest hit and within the next 3 months we’ll work directly with them to assess the deeper needs of those people.
In 3 months they’ll still have nothing. They won’t have a home and they won’t be able to rebuild. The land is ruined. I don’t know how else to put it. Most of them won’t have crops to plant and they’ll be left without an income. They won’t have clothes, they won’t have food and I have to imagine many of them will feel hopeless.
As it goes, in 3 months, most of the world will have returned to their lives. The media will be long gone and the survivors of this tragedy will need you.
If you’d like to be added to the list, send me an email at . I don’t know how we’ll help yet. We might build a home or multiple homes. Maybe we’ll buy some land for families to relocate. Maybe we’ll help them get counseling that they’ll surely need. I CAN tell you that I’ll probably reach out, throughout the year. Help when you can.
Right now, the families who survived need your prayers and through prayer, they’ll need you some time down the road. They’ll be praying for your help.
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to leave a message in the comments.