Miércoles, 19 Octubre 2011 19:10

Once again El Salvador is challenged by nature, this time by “Tropical Storm 12E”

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Severe weather conditions prevailing in El Salvador led President Mauricio Funes to declared State of National Emergency last Friday, October 14. “The intensity of the rainfall, the duration of the phenomenon and

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the extent of the affected territory presents us with a major emergency", stated President Funes last night during his national broadcast to the Salvadoran nation.

El Salvador is undergoing an unusual situation due to the prolonged and severe amounts rain that have fallen since Tropical Storm 12E arrived on October 10.  This time, the precipitation has exceeded that of Tropical Storms Mitch and Stan, in 1998 and  2005 consecutively, gathering in only seven days 1,470 mm in some areas of the country, more that 80% of the amount of rain that falls in a year. 

As of today, the nation continues to be pounded with persistent rain, making the country's mountainous terrain unstable and putting thousands of people at risk. Until now, the storm has left 32 people dead, most of them caused by mudslides, 2 are missing and 24 injured. Official reports indicate that over 48,723 people have been evacuated and brought to 566 shelters established by the government.

National and international highways have been washed out, entire villages and other communities have been completely isolated due to treacherous roads, and thousands of families have lost their homes and crops.

Last Monday, October 17 the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador declared state of public calamity and disaster throughout the country for the next 60 days, as a result of the situation of vulnerability, which is expected to continue until this coming Wednesday.

The Government of El Salvador has full control of the mechanisms and devices to face this Emergency and is ready to start immediately with the rehabilitation phase. Therefore, has appealed for international humanitarian assistance to meet the needs arising as part of this tragedy.

Fact Sheet: El Salvador Endures Tropical Depression 12E

• Since the entrance of Tropical Depression 12E, which occurred on October 10th of this year to date, the country has registered a historical maximum amount of rainfall at 1,470 mm in Huizucar, La Libertad.  This amount of rain is almost the double of the amount of rainfall reported during tropical storms Mitch (1998).

• Average precipitation in El Salvador is approximately 1.800 mm per year. So far, in nine days some areas of the nation have registered 80% of the amount of rain that falls in one whole year.

• Tropical Storm Mitch, in 1998, caused 861 mm of rain, meanwhile Tropical Storm Stan in 2005 produced 766 mm of rain.

• So far the death toll due to the tropical depression has reached 32.

• During Tropical Storm Mitch more than 200 dead were reported and during Stan approximately 50 casualties.

• To date, 150,000 people have been affected by the rain. There are 48,723 evacuees who have been placed in 566 shelters and refuges.

• Authorities have distributed more than 470 metric tons of food to the victims.

• Until October 18th, there were 18,445 flooded homes, 2,222 affected wells and 645 landslides on highways have been accounted for. There are 1,965 houses at high risk of flooding or to be affected by landslides.

• On October 17 the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador declared state of public calamity and disaster throughout the country for the next 60 days, as a result of the situation of vulnerability.
 
• There are 2,935 manzanas of damaged crops (around 5,000 acres).

• The heavy rains have caused the mudslides and flooding, swollen rivers, destroyed 4 bridges and damaged 14 other..

• The consistent rains have submerged roads, caused crevices and gravely damaged 22 national and international highways. 

• The Government of El Salvador has full control of the mechanisms and devices to meet the Emergency and is ready to start immediately with the rehabilitation phase.

• The Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its Embassies and Consulates has initiated efforts to support the management of international cooperation

• Salvadorans living in the United States and Canada may contact 1-888-30-111-30 or visit the web site: www.rree.gob.sv/emergencia for more information on how to contribute.

• Donations can be made to an account set up the Government of El Salvador at BANCO AGRICOLA # 0590-057574-5, called “SETEFE-EMERGENCIA EL SALVADOR”. From abroad, international transfers can be made through :

• Bank of America – San Francisco - SWIFT:BOFAUS6S - ABA: 121000358

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