Archive for the ‘Natural Disasters El Salvador’ Tag

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 - 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 -

    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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