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El Salvador Hit Hard By Hurricane Ida’s Rains

November 13, 2009

Search crews this week trickled into the regions of El Salvador that were hardest hit by the downpour triggered last weekend by Hurricane Ida, which caused flooding and mudslides that killed at least 157 people.

Some 60 people were still missing at press time.

As the search for the missing continued, Salvadoran authorities continued to release the grim details of damage.

More than 14,000 people, evacuated from their homes in five of El Salvador’s 14 departments, remain in 132 temporary shelters, the government’s Civil Protection Office said Wednesday. The authorities said 1,835 homes were affected and 209 were destroyed. The country suffered 176 mudslides, 13 large floods and 12 overflowing rivers.

President Mauricio Funes last Sunday declared a national emergency, calling the incident a “grave tragedy” that has wrought “incalculable” damage.

The provinces affected most by the rains are San Salvador, Cuscatlán, La Libertad, La Paz and San Vicente.

During a televised presidential address, Funes stressed that in the area surrounding the San Vicente volcano, authorities reported 355 millimeters of rainfall.

“During (Hurricane) Mitch, more than 400 mm fell in four days. A similar amount this time fell in only four hours,” he said.

International cooperation took shape and relief supplies began to flow in this week to help the impoverished Central American nation cope. Spain gave 24 tons of bottled water, blankets and toiletries, Taiwan donated $200,000, and more aid was on its way from the United States and Venezuela, the AFP reported.

–Tico Times and Wire Reports

 

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