SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 5, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Two members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are listed as missing and at least five others were taken to area hospitals with severe burns following Sunday’s eruption of Guatemala’s Fuego Volcano.
The eruption took place 25 miles southwest of Guatemala City, according to a news release from the Church.
Officials said at least 69 people are dead and that figure is expected to rise possibly into the hundreds. Only 17 have been identified so far, according to Guatemala’s National Institute of Forensic Sciences.
“All missionaries are safe, but hundreds of people were evacuated as ash was dispersed over a nine-mile radius,” the news release said. “Latter-day Saint volunteers are helping with relief efforts in Central America.”
More than 100 Mormon Helping Hands volunteers have gathered at a collection center with other organizations to help distribute food and other supplies to displaced residents.
Thousands of people are staying in shelters, which includes the Church’s Escuintla Guatemala Stake Center.
There are more than 272,000 Latter-day Saints in 440 congregations and six missions in Guatemala.
Officials said the seismic event has affected nearly 2 million people.
Mount Fuego is Spanish for “mountain of fire.”
Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.