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Guate volcano 14

Guate volcano 14

Julia Gonzales (pictured) is 62 years old, she and her family lived in the ÒLa ReinaÓ community in El Rodeo, Escuintla one the most damaged community by the volcano eruption last Sunday in Guatemala.
ÒWe got used to listening to small explosions under the ground and sometimes the sky over us turned grey and we thought it was normal because we lived near to the volcano, but this time was very different, in a few seconds the sky became totally dark, we saw the ash coming and knew because of the big noise that something very bad was happeningÓ said Julia.
Her daughter Maria Cristina went out to sell pineapples with her husband that Sunday, she was carrying her little girl just 10-month-old on his back while her husband transported the pineapples in a wooden cart. Mar’a Cristina asked her mother Julia to take care of her other three daughters (Angela 9, Eulalia 7 and Lidia 3) and the grandmother agreed to take care of her granddaughters without knowing that it would be the last time she would see her daughter Mar’a.
When Julia heard the noise, and saw the sky she asked two of her sons to go out and look for Mar’a, they ran up the mountain to look for her sister but after some minutes they returned with bad news, a river of lahar (volcanic lava, stones and ash) was coming to the house.
ÒMy daughter, my son-in-law and my little girl died in that river of lahar, my granddaughters lost them two parentsÓ Julia told me with tears in her eyes.
Angela, the older sister who just has 9 years old, is on shock she still not believes what is happening, the rest of the family is trying to help her emotionality but she doesnÕt stop crying.
The manager of the shelter said that they are controlling the situation at the shelter and giving all the aid, they are receiving to the victims to response and the needs, but they feel afraid about the time the families will have to return to their communities because many families lost their homes, and it is probably that the Government declare uninhabitable many of the damaged villages.

Scenes from shelters in Escuintla, Guatemala, after the Fuego volcano erupted on Sunday, June 3, 2018. The Church has opened shelters and a collection center to receive essential emergency items like essential medicines, clothes and food for affected families. CRS is working with our partner Caritas Escuintla on an emergency response.

Photo by Ivan Palma/CRS