Saturday, October 15, 2011

Blog Action Day -- The Rains and Food

October 16 is the annual Blog Action Day, and the global topic this year is Food.   In light of the weather emergency continuing in El Salvador, I will deal with the implications of the ongoing rains on food issues in the country.

The country is under a state of emergency.   In a press conference Saturday night, president Funes called for all elements of Salvadoran society to pull together.   As of tonight some 13 thousand Salvadorans have been forced to flee their homes, and the death toll has risen to 10.

 Emergency efforts to distribute food are underway for families forced from their homes.  Donations are being received from many sources, and the Salvadoran armed forces are participating in distribution of emergency aid.

  This picture from LPG shows Scouts receiving and organizing food donations.


A tweet from LaPrensa reported that some 4000 pupusas are being made and donated by an association of pupuserias in Olocuilta to distribute to affected families.

The San Miguelito market in San Salvador sent hot meals to evacuated communities in the Lower Lempa:



As noted in Friday's post, at that time experts were forecasting losses of as much as 40% of the country's harvest of the staple foods corn, rice and beans.   Other reports suggest that as much as 60% of the bean crop could be lost, and coffee production could also be impacted.  This destroys the hopes I wrote about six weeks ago, that a record bean harvest might help bring down the cost of food in the country.

This chart compares this weather emergency to other recent rain and flooding events, comparing the amount of rain in millimeters during the entire event and during the first 24 hours.   The rains from this tropical depression are already the 6th worst in the past 42 years, and the rains are forecast for three or four more days:

The needs in the country are basic -- shelter from the rain and floodwaters, clothing for what has been lost, food for the hungry, and long term works for mitigation of risk in many areas.   Also needed, as my friend Beth points out, is psycho-social care for the victims.

Several organizations are making calls for donations.  Consider these organizations if you want to help:




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