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Guatemala struggles after twin disasters

By June 10, 2010

Guatemala (MNN) — Communities
in Guatemala are destroyed, and the survivors are taking refuge wherever they can following the dual punch of a tropical storm and the eruption of a volcano.

In Guatemala City, people are finding survival to
be difficult. Food shortages are rampant. Shelters are full, and residents are being turned away without help.

A day after the Pacaya
volcano erupted, Tropical Storm Agatha caused severe flooding and landslides and washed away fields of maize,
banana, sugar cane and coffee.

Aid from 18 other countries
arrived, but it still isn't enough to help everyone in need. This week, the government asked the Inter-American
Development Bank to redirect $400 million in loans to the country's disaster
agency.

According to preliminary
reports, AMG Guatemala did not suffer major infrastructure damage from the
disasters, but they are still doing assessments. Brian Dennett, General Director
of AMG Guatemala, says outside of communications problems: "Right now most of our difficulty is with
access. For example, Villa Laura and Matochos lost their bridge, and river
levels are very high. Patzun also has no access, along with many other towns."     

Recovery will be a long
process. Dennet explains that "the
damage to infrastructure will exceed that of hurricanes Mitch and Stan.
The government announced a freeze on all expenses today to brace itself for the
tremendous costs it will burden in the coming months. This is not good for
ongoing programs like public education."

There is an immediate need for
relief funds to aid those survivors within their reach. Please pray for all who are suffering the
loss of their homes and loved ones.

AMG has been sharing the hope of
Christ in Guatemala for 34 years. You
can help them as they meet the physical and spiritual needs of the survivors. Click here for more details.

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