Monday, November 09, 2009

Death toll rises in El Salvador flooding

The following graphic from La Prensa Grafica provides a map showing the locations in the country impacted by the flooding and landslides (click on graphic for full screen version):

(Alternate version)

The death toll from yesterday's floods and mudslides rose to more than 130 as more bodies were found and more inaccessible areas were reached by authorities, and more than 90 are still missing. At least 1500 houses were destroyed and some 10,000 forced from their homes. President Funes has declared a national state of emergency and declared that the damages in El Salvador are incalculable. He has called for help from neighboring countries and is seeking to use some funds designated for dealing with the economic crisis to be used for the present crisis.

From the BBC Coverage:

A torrent of mud and boulders from the Chichontepec volcano hit the town [of Verapaz] near the capital, San Salvador, on Sunday, wrecking 300 homes and burying cars. Bodies covered in mud-caked sheets are being collected at a local chapel. Officially the death toll across El Salvador after days of heavy rainstorms stands at at least 130 people.

President Mauricio Funes declared a national emergency, describing the damage as "incalculable". "Today is a very sad day for the country and its government, in fact it is one of the most tragic days in memory," he said in a televised address to the nation on Sunday.

The BBC's weather centre says the disastrous rains were mainly caused by a low pressure system in the Pacific, which was linked indirectly to Hurricane Ida. Ida, which passed the country three days ago, was downgraded to a tropical storm as it crossed the Gulf of Mexico on Monday.

Verapaz, one of the most seriously affected communities on the slopes of the San Vicente volcano was also a victim of the 2001 earthquakes. This photo from EDH shows the damages in 2001 and today.

Organizations gearing up to provide humanitarian relief include:


More information and multimedia:

No comments: