FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pat Schwalbe, Director of Operations and Special Activities
The GOD’S CHILD Project
Ph. (701) 255-7956
GOD’S CHILD Project Guatemalan Locations Covered in Sulfuric Ash
(February 9, 2015) On Saturday, February 7 around 4:43pm Fuego Volcan, one of Central America’s most active volcanoes, erupted and spewed ashes to an altitude reaching 18,000 feet above sea level covering much of Antigua, Guatemala City and surrounding villages according to Guatemala’s national disasters agency. The smoke and ash forced Guatemala’s airport to stop all air traffic for the weekend.
GOD’S CHILD Project International Executive Director Patrick Atkinson coordinated and activated emergency disaster relief plans for volcanic response with Program Director Miguel Angel Alvarez Paz at The GOD’S CHILD Project’s Asociacion Nuestros Ahijados. Guatemalan officials contacted GCP as they are designated first responders.
The Project’s extensive emergency relief efforts brought 4,000 face masks and medical supplies to villagers in the 4 state region affected, including Antigua. These supplies were also used by first responders including ANA staff, fire fighters, and military reserves. These face masks and medical supplies are extremely important because of the fine volcanic ash causes respiratory and eye infections/irritations. The Project’s partnership with Direct Relief of Santa Barbara, CA is essential in providing medical supplies.
Sunday, February 8, Project staff along with 75 military reserve soldiers helped clean the Dreamer Center, Casa Jackson, Scheel Center, and the entire Project facilities so that the children would be able to still attend school on Monday since most guardians are single working mothers. Not only is this fine, sulfuric ash dangerous to humans, it breaks down anything mechanical, and contaminates all surfaces. The Project staff and military reserves have been working around the clock to clean all contaminated areas.
The needs of Casa Jackson and our malnourished infants and children were of upmost priority. After consultation with national authorities it was deemed to not move them because the plume cloud would move within three hours of the eruption.
Fuego Volcan is one of Central America’s active volcanos and located approximately 7 miles from the Dreamer Center. This is Fuego’s largest eruption in 3 years.
Founded in 1991 by Patrick Atkinson, The GOD'S CHILD Project cares for and educates 5,000 orphaned, abandoned, and poverty-stricken boys and girls in addition to providing health and community-based services for 8,700 widowed, abandoned, and single mothers and their dependents in Guatemala, El Salvador, India, Malawi, and the United States.
There is no need for clothing donations at this time. Water resources have not been affected. However, need for financial contributions to support these efforts are needed. To contribute to these relief efforts visit www.GCPStore.com