Archive for October 2011

The aftermath: picking up the pieces   3 comments

This sight brings tears to your eyes. This is the aftermath. We're living it. Farmers wading in waist-high water trying to salvage their crops. Families drying maize and beans on roofs, the roadside, anywhere, to salvage what they can.

from La Prensa Grafica. Click to link

PLEASE DONATE towards relief for Tropical Depression 12E in El Salvador.   Here are a few organizations.

Habitat for Humanity long after the disaster is over and forgotten, they will be rebuilding

Sister cities:   helping with immediate relief effort.  Cities in the U.S. sponsor/sister with towns here.

Oxfam:  a tried and true humanitarian name.

Urgent needs:    Potable water, and food. << fields flooded and wells contaminated >>

Long term needs:    Rebuild effort << 20,000 flooded homes, hundreds of damaged schools >>

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Too Funny – 2011 initation of dollar gold coin in El Salvador, explained   4 comments

Well that explains the recent injection of dollar coins into the Salvadoran currency:

They don’t want em’ up north!

We’re happy to take lots of used and unwanted goods off our brother’s hands from up north, and this is another example.  Maybe the gold-colored coin will be better loved here.

Posted October 25, 2011 by El Salvador from the Inside in Living in El Salvador

Storm update: latest stats / Estadisticas del temporal que afecta Centroamerica   2 comments

Storm-related statistics on Tropical Depression 12E as of Thursday, October 20, 2011:

  • 105 deaths &  1 million people are affected in Central America.

Statistics for El Salvador:

  • 34 Dead, 24 injured, and 2 missing
  • 150,000 people affected by the storm
  • more than 52,000 evacuated
  • 18,445 houses are flooded
  • over 60% of the crop is lost in the Lower Lempa region  (the country may see 45% or more loss)
  • 10% of the country is flooded
  • 4 bridges have collapsed and 14 bridges were damaged
  • landslides have blocked many roads, and sections of roads have collapsed, making them impassible

(As you can see, the numbers doubled and tripled in four days.  The rains continued on Wednesday, for a total of 10 days of non-stop rain, and finally this morning we saw the sun. )

Storm-related statistics as of 5:00pm on Sunday Oct. 16, 2011:

  • 66 dead in Central America a the hands of the storm
  • 24 confirmed fatalities in El Salvador
  • nearly 14,000 evacuees (> 13,800)
  • Two major bridges out so far (Arce bridge in Harachadura / bridge in Ateos on highway between San Salvador and Sonsonate), and a 3rd, the Playón bridge , to the south of  San Vicente has also collapsed.
  • Landslides throughout the country, blocking roads and sadly, fatally burying Salvadoran citizens.  A  seven year old girl in Jayaque, La Libertad died from a landslide, and 4 were killed in City Arce (Ciudad Arce) when a mudslide landed on their home.  (Yesterday a 16 year old in San Marcos died when a wall and earth in his home collapsed on him).

Estadísticas hasta 5 de la tarde, por el temporal en centroamérica:

Who’ll Stop the Rain – Storm 12E continues to dump on El Salvador – Lluvias sigan interminables por Termporal 12E   Leave a comment

This post is an update on the events taking place during a long rainstorm (which is still going on)  that has caused major flooding, destruction, and deaths in El Salvador.

Two days ago in the morning I read the number of Salvadorans in shelters was a little over 2,000.   Twelve hours later that number had climbed to over 4,000, and last night it had reached 7,000.   It has been raining almost  non stop in El Salvador since Sunday night, October 8, 2011.    We’re now 6 days into this storm/temporal and they are predicting the rain to continue through possibly Wednesday.

The news is now on all day long.  Almost no other programming is being shown and throughout the day we see video footage of people being rescued from their homes by the Red Cross and Green Cross, families in shelters (often schools), and others setting up camp with tents or plastic to cover their belongings that were pulled from their homes, and grateful citizens accepting help from organizations providing water and basic staples.

Below is a video of what the rain looked like yesterday morning at about 8:00am. The rain continues to ebb and flow, sometimes falling as hard as the video footage you will see.

Two hours ago we heard a crashing sound, and my husband went out to check what it was.  A large tree limb fell into the street that runs below our house.   During dinner the lights went out, and we expected to hunker down for the night, but luckily they came back on.  We resumed our news-watching, and learned that Panchimalco, a town just 10 minutes away,  is incommunicado – landslides have blocked them in on the road entering into it.   There are now 13,000 people evacuated from their homes (it’s a country of over 6 million people, the size of Massachusetts).

There are now 8 deaths related to this storm in El Salvador.  My husband believes this storm is worse than Hurricane Ida, which hit El Salvador in the November 2009 , and some affected people interviewed on the news say they have not seen it this bad since hurricane Mitch.

The news that affected me most was the death of a 16 year old boy in San Marcos, just 10 minutes from where we live.  He was killed when a wall in his house caved in and the wall and earth collapsed on him.  Landslides are prevalent everywhere now; the young man was resting in bed and it was morning; who could have ever guessed that this would happen?

Massive Flooding from Storm 12E – Temporal causa Inundaciones en El Salvador Oct 2011   2 comments

We’re nearing the end of rainy season, which usually finishes around the end of October.  Instead of winding down slowly, rainy season actually picks up, often turning into a furious finale, leaving people in knee-deep waters on its way out.  The rains that have been falling almost nightly for the past 5+ months have saturated the ground, and when the last storms arrive, there’s nowhere for the water to go.  We have a series of colored ‘alerts’ starting with green, which is just normal rain, and progressing to yellow and orange, and then to red, the highest climate alert here.

El Salvador Noticias.net - bridge out!

This week we reached ‘alerta Naranja y alerta Roja’ or Orange and Red alerts, in numerous areas of the country.   A Temporal (storm) started Monday night, and the rain kept falling.  And falling.  And falling.  And falling.  On Tuesday and Wednesday nights I came home to no electricity, and we cooked by candlelight.   Tuesday night as I drove up the mountain, just before the hospital I saw a man perched up high on an electric pole, big electric truck below, making repairs. The street lights were all on up to where he stood a-fixing, and after I drove past, it all went black.  Streetlights.  Houses.  Everything.  Night everywhere.   When it did not stop raining all Tuesday day and overnight into Wednesday, I had that chilling ‘oh no’ feeling this would not turn out well for some people in El Salvador. Sure enough, our ‘lights out’ problem was minor compared to many.   Major flooding has occurred and the areas hit hardest were Ahuachapan and Usulutan.

Here are the statistics as of tonight, Thursday October 13, 2011:

  • 4 people have died so far due to the flooding during this Temporal

“El Río Paz ha socavado el puente Arce, en el paso fronterizo de La Hachadura, lo cual afecta la salida y entrada de todo tipo de transporte hacia Guatemala por este lugar.”

The Paz river has taken the Arce Bridge, at the frontier crossing of Hachadura, which affects the exit and entrance of all type of transport to Guatemala from here.

The Melara bridge, on the major Central American Highway number 2, was washed out in November 2009 due to the storm Ida and was out of service for over a year. They finally get the dang thing fixed, it’s been less than a year, and now another major bridge we need in CA for commercial transport is now out of commission!  And supposedly it’s in Guatemala’s hands to fix it (and they’re poorer than us, so go figure).

“Ahuachapán: Rescatan a alcalde de San Francisco Menéndez y acompañantes.  Narciso Ramírez, se encontraba tratando de rescatar a lugareños del caserío San Marcos y cantón La Hachadura.”

Ahuachapán:  the mayor of San Francisco Menéndez and companions rescued.  Narciso Ramírez was trying to rescue natives of the San Marcos neighborhood and the town of La Hachadura.

  • Tractor Trailers taking a dip - Noticias.net

    School classes were suspended in 8 Departments of the 14 in the country, starting today (Thursday) and will resume on Monday.  Distractions to studies may continue longer in hard hit areas, as schools there are being used as shelters.

The Good News?   The rain appears to have let up.   Right now, it is not raining where we live in Los Planes, and hasn’t since 4 hours ago.   This will be  relief to many.

The word to describe flooding in Spanish is especially fitting in times like these in El Salvador:  Inundación.   We are Inund-ated with water.

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