Chile to help Guatemala design vulcanological monitoring network

SANTIAGO – Chile’s Ministry of Mining will sign agreement with Guatemala to design a vulcanological monitoring network.

In order to support Guatemala after the eruption of the Volcán de Fuego, which has left about 100 people dead, Minister of Mining, Baldo Prokurica, met with the Guatemalan ambassador in Chile, Rita Claverie de Sciolli, with the objective of coordinating technical support in professional training through the National Service of Geology and Mining of Chile (Sernageomin).

Death toll rises to 99 in Guatemala volcanic eruption; almost 200 people still missing

Prokurica said that this agreement will enable officials in Chile to be trained, in addition to sending national Sernageomin experts to that country.

“We have a monitoring network of 45 volcanoes. It is an online system, where Sernageomin together with the National Emergency Office of the Ministry of the Interior (ONEMI) can observe the vulcanological activity and, precisely, it is this experience that Chilean professionals have what we want to share with the people of Guatemala, through an agreement that we will sign the next few days,” he added.

Minister Prokurica stressed that “this agreement will allow early monitoring and thus detect the first symptoms of what is going to happen in order for the authorities and the population to make a correct decision in the face of these phenomena so typical of Central America and Chile”.

Ambassador Rita Claverie de Sciolli, for her part, thanked the support given by the Government of President Sebastián Piñera, after the eruption of the Volcano of Fire and assessed the scope of the agreement.

“This cooperation that Chile is going to give us, to share its own national experience – Chile is a country that is plagued by inclement weather and natural disasters such as Guatemala, which is located in a highly vulnerable seismic belt – and so be prepared not only for an emergency, but to avoid that these tragic stories are not repeated,” said the Guatemalan diplomat.

Ninety-nine people are now known to have died since Sunday, and nearly 200 others remain unaccounted for.

Villages on the slopes were buried in volcanic ash and mud after Fuego erupted.

Subsequent smaller eruptions and the high temperatures of the rock and mud debris have made search teams’ work extremely difficult amid fears that heavy rain could cause fresh landslides of volcanic mud.

Meanwhile the volcano is continuing to spew out ash and rocks.