Monday, May 31, 2010

State of Emergency Declared in El Salvador

After elevating the alert level throughout the weekend, President Funes declared a State of Emergency in El Salvador on Sunday, due to torrential rains causing flooding and landslides, putting 90% of the country at risk in his estimation.

The rains were caused by Tropical Storm Agatha, which arrived over Salvadoran territory Thursday, causing heavy storms and heavier rainfall. Communities throughout the country, including in the Bajo Lempa, Ilopango, Mejicanos, San Pablo Tacachio and El Paisnal have been evacuated, and many homes have been destroyed. There is not yet an official number of the communities and families affected.

In his Sunday afternoon address, taking the place of what was to be a celebration of the first year in government, Funes asked citizens to cooperate with authorities and heed calls for evacuation, promising security for the homes and belongings they would leave behind and food and shelter at their destination. He made a call to solidarity organizations, political parties and governmental institutions to respond and unite to this most recent disaster.

The SNET, the National Service of Territorial Studies, has avised that the worst of Agatha has passed, although rains and storms will continue in certain parts of the country through tomorrow.

The SHARE Foundation expresses its solidarity with the families and communities affected by this most recent emergency, and will publish more information about the situation as it becomes available to us, as well as ways to respond.

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