CENTRAL AMERICA: ERD responds to widespread flooding, mudslides in El Salvador

November 19, 2009

El Salvador was hit Nov. 7-8 by severe weather caused by a low-pressure system in the Atlantic Ocean related to Hurricane Ida. Receiving nearly 12 inches of rain in six hours, the nation was affected by widespread flooding and mudslides. The death toll currently stands at 194, with 80 people still missing.

Damage to El Salvador's infrastructure has been extensive. A total of 223 dwellings have been destroyed and 630 are still at risk of collapse. As a result, nearly 14,300 people are living in 118 temporary shelters across the country. In addition, the floods damaged 34 bridges and 93 roads, 12 of which are still in the process of being reopened.

In response to the crisis, Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) is working with two partners, the Episcopal Church of El Salvador and the Asociacion CREDHO, to provide immediate relief. Both organizations have conducted needs assessments, evaluated capacity gaps and considered coordination opportunities in order to utilize funds to the fullest.

Fundación Cristosal, a foundation for the support of the Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador, is also responding to the crisis in El Salvador.

"Thankfully, through our network of valued, in-country partners we have been able to rapidly assess and respond to this extensive disaster," said Matthew St. John, ERD's program officer for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The support will help to provide food, potable water, basic medical supplies, hygiene kits, clothing and assistance for shelters, reaching approximately 2,200 people living in the six communities hit hardest by the storm, including San Salvador and San Vincente.

"While our assistance will aid those suffering in the wake of the storm, the needs of the people impacted are tremendous," said St. John. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Salvadoran people."

To support those in El Salvador impacted by the crisis, donations can be made to ERD's 'Hurricane Relief" fund online here, or by calling 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to Episcopal Relief & Development, PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.

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