Most of the active volcanoes in the world are located in Latin America and the Caribbean, and millions of people live in villages and towns nearby. Throughout history, many of these volcanoes have shown great capacity for destruction. Therefore, the health sector must be prepared to face the risk from the location of population centers and health facilities in areas with volcanic influence.
Recent eruptions of Fuego volcano in Guatemala and San Cristobal volcano in Nicaragua confirm once again the need for a comprehensive and coordinated planning that promotes the participation and responsibility of all sectors and institutions in the volcanic emergency management. The impact that volcanoes have on the health of the communities and environmental health ranges from morbidity and greenhouse gas explosions, damage to water supply systems, food handling and consumption, solid waste management and acid rain.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has several publications, technical guidelines and audiovisual material in order to guide and facilitate the work of the health sector to deal with volcanic eruptions.
You can access this material through the following links:
Guía de Preparativos de Salud frente a Erupciones Volcánicas (in Spanish)
PAHO/WHO material on volcanic eruptions (Under the Volcanic eruptions section on the left menu)