Crisis Informatics

On 3 June 2018, Volcán de Fuego erupted in southern Guatemala. It is the country’s deadliest volcanic eruption since 1929. Ash and molten rock, reaching 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit and traveling around 100 mph, fell onto surrounding communities. An even larger set of communities is affected by thick ash cover (Source: ABC). Heavy rainfall during part of the eruption also caused lahars, destructive mudflows on the slopes of the volcano. Several villages and road networks near the volcano have been buried by lahars. (Source: SAVE THE CHILDREN)

  • Impact: Estimated impact is as follows (Source: UN OCHA):
    • 1.7 million people affected (10.2% of total estimated population of 16.6 million (World Bank))
    • 12,823 people evacuated
    • 3,615 people sheltered
    • 2,570 people still at risk
    • 332 people missing
  • Current Situation
    • Current situation has families slowly returning to destroyed homes.
    • Of the 1.7 million affected, approximately 685K are children (Save the Children).
    • Education, sanitation, health, and livelihoods are the primary challenges. Protection and safeguarding issues have made news stories and are mentioned in Sitreps (Save the Children). Family reunification services are also needed, including a need to reconnect unaccompanied minors in shelters.


Nethope Members Responding in Shelters

In early June, NetHope Field Operations deployed a team with Cisco TacOps to scope out the need for connectivity in shelters for displaced persons, taking 10 connectivity kits into country (NetHope).

The following NetHope members are providing humanitarian to Guatemalan shelters: Catholic Relief Services/Caritas, Plan International, Save the Children, and World Vision. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is also running response operations.

Based on NetHope’s field assessment and work with members and partners, 17 sites were identified for the provision of connectivity. By 6 July, 12 of these sites were online using Cisco’s Meraki equipment. Additional Cisco equipment is currently in customs and in the process of being cleared to provide connectivity for the remaining five sites. 

NetHope anticipates that connectivity operations will be ongoing for the next six months. To date, over 5,987 unique users have accessed 3.7 TB of data using NetHope resources (Cisco).

At each shelter (and one emergency operation center) connected by NetHope, private Wi-Fi is being provided for responding organization and public Wi-Fi is serving local affected communities.





NetHope and NetHope members thank Facebook, Cisco, Google, Microsoft, The Patterson Foundation, Digicel, Blackbaud, and Mapbox for their generous support of NetHope’s Irma and Maria response and Crisis Informatics work.



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