Geography In Action

Summary:

On June 3, 2018 a volcano erupted in Guatemala.  It affected more than 1.7 million people in three central states in Guatemala.  Villages were covered by clouds, ash, and deadly lava flows.  Some villages were evacuated and some people fled to shelters.  Those people were mostly children.  260 people went missing and many were buried in the lava and rocks.  The volcano erupted several times after during the days following, but with less force.  Although, the eruptions sent search/rescue teams and civilians fleeing the areas.  This is affecting the residents of the Guatemalan states that were fled from their homes.  Families were separated and people went missing.  This will change certain civilians lives because their homes were destroyed and they were left with nothing.  This also impacts the economy of Guatemala, more food and shelters are needed and more homes will have to be built to accompany the families that lost everything.  But who is going to pay for it?  So this affects not just the people of Guatemala individually, but the people as a society.

4 Spheres:

During a volcanic eruption all the 4 spheres are interacting.  Firstly, when a volcano erupts it is releasing gases and ash into the air, which is interacting with the atmosphere and hydrosphere. By these toxins being released into the air it makes the air not breathable for living organisms and nearby water supply could be compromised due to the pollution from the ash and rocks. When a volcano erupts rocks are being pushed out of the lithosphere, which then becomes lava which affects the biosphere.  The lava can destroy ecosystems and switch up the environment, making it a non-livable area for living things.

Response:

The people of Guatemala didn’t wait for their governments response or help.  They went ahead and started helping their fellow neighbours in need.  Citizens of Guatemala are used to smaller eruptions, but this one took them by surprise.  The government is sending out food, water, and shelter to those in need followed by the help of several response groups/charities.  Some solutions that were put into action to help the people in the moment were: coordinating delivery of humanitarian aid, establishing child friendly environments and shelters so kids can play and be with their friends, assessing the damage… For the long term, Guatemala is going to equip six schools in the affected area with preparedness kits for future disasters, train teacher’s in emergency, and they will continue to provide families with water/food and shelter services throughout September as needed.  None of these solutions seem to be controversial, they are the standard natural disaster responses.  Some do feel as if the Guatemalan government isn’t doing everything they could.  In my opinion Guatemala is not a wealthy country so what more can they really do besides accept help from others and provide what they can.  All the solutions listed above are precautions I would suggest as well.  A volcano eruption is a natural disaster you cannot come back from easily because it affects communities (large quantities of people).  Especially with a country that mostly lives in poverty their government cannot offer too much too quickly.  Dealing with the matter at hand, step by step is the best way to go about it.  This made me feel quite upset for the people in Guatemala.  It’s unfair how people can build a life somewhere and have it all taken away in such a harsh way.  Imagine your house and neighbourhood have a stream of lava destroying it.  I like to believe that bad things shouldn’t be happening to innocent people so that’s where my feelings come from.  The Fuego eruption was a devastating event that honestly brings horror to me.

Image result for fuego guatemala eruption 2018World Vision's doctor Luz Maria Cabrera treats a child in an evacuation center in Escuintla, about 13 miles from the volcano. (©2018 World Vision/staff photo)

 

Sources:

2018 Guatemala volcano eruption: Facts, FAQs, and how to help

  • https://reliefweb.int/report/guatemala/response-volcano-eruption-guatemala
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-44369461

 

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