Guatemala Natural Disaster Alert – U. S. Embassy Guatemala City, Guatemala – (March 3, 2021)

Location: Guatemala

Event: Volcanic eruptions

PACAYA VOLCANO:

The National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (INSIVUMEH) reports an increase in activity that included explosions that projected materials 800 meters above the Mackenney Crater. INSIVUMEH and surrounding communities also report two new lava flows, totaling three lava flows to the south, southeast, and southwest resulting from the increased activity that started on February 5, 2021.

Coordinadora Nacional Para la Reducción de Desastres (CONRED) reports volcanic material (tephra) is falling in the El Patrocinio, El Rodeo, San Francisco de Sales, El Cedro, Calderas, and Los Jazmines communities. Other communities may have additional ash fall during the day.

GOG Response Update: 

  • CONRED has put the country in a red alert and activated Operation Centers in communities surrounding Pacaya.
  • Pacaya national park remains closed.
  • INSIVUMEH issued the following recommendations:
    • Maintain existing protocols and consider additional actions due to tephra in the Aldea of El Patrocino and probability of tephra and/or ash falling in nearby communities located to the west of the volcano.
    • Precautions are recommended for air traffic in the area of Pacaya Volcano. Ash is present at 11,483 feet in the perimeter of the volcano and dispersing up to 25 km to the west and southwest.
    • Inform tourist agencies, guides and tourists of the dangers of ascending and staying near Pacaya, Fuego and Santiaguito volcanos.
    • Closure of routes leading to the San Vicente Pacaya and Villa Canales municipalities.

Embassy operations are otherwise normal, and we continue to closely monitor all bulletins issued by INSIVUMEH and CONRED.

Visit CONRED and INSIVUMEH websites for updated weather and hazard information.

Actions to Take:

CONRED advises citizens to:

o   Use masks to protect airways

o   Clean roofs as ash builds up

o   Avoid outdoor activities due to ash

o   Cover storage tanks that carry drinking water and food

o   Follow precautionary measures issued by local authorities

o   Review household evacuation plan and ensure 72 hour evacuation bags for household members are ready

o   If necessary, evacuate to the closest shelter in your community

In addition, the U.S. embassy recommends U.S. citizens in the area to:

o   Wear masks (N95 ideally) when outdoors

o   Close windows and use air filters if available when indoors

o   Consider temporary relocation from affected areas if experiencing negative respiratory symptoms due to prolonged exposure to volcanic ash.

o   Review your personal security plans

o   Monitor local news for updates

Assistance:

U.S. Embassy Guatemala City

https://gt.usembassy.gov

Tel. (502) 2326-4000

Amcitsguatemala@state.gov

State Department – Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

Guatemala Country Information and Travel Advisory Page

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