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?