At the beginning of this week a tropical storm hit El Salvador. The rain has been relentless and is not expected to stop until Saturday, with another tropical depression following soon after. To many of us in the U.S. a tropical storm usually isn't cause for panic or a state of emergency. A hurricane yes, but tropical storms..usually not. However, in El Salvador tropical storms bring torrential amounts of rain which have led to a total of 246 landslides, 46 floods, and more than 40 overflowing rivers. This has led the National Civil Protection Commission to declare a state of emergency. Eight departments (equivalent to states) are still in a state of emergency and have ordered an evacuation. Due to the fact that neither the highland mountain areas nor the coastlines are safe, over 4,000 people have been evacuated from their homes to a total of 77 shelters dispersed throughout the various safety zones.
The red cross and other organizations associated with the NCPC have been traveling through the affected departments via boat to rescue those that have been trapped by the flooding or landslides. In addition to providing transportation these search and rescue teams are also providing food and water to those that choose to stay behind because the storm has contaminated many of their water and food sources.
So far only four deaths and one missing person have been recorded as a result of the storm in El Salvador. Unfortunately, with another depression approaching the NCPC does not consider this the end. In fact, the NCPC has requested that the current emergency budget be re-evaluated in order to address the current needs. The NCPC estimates that a total of $837,000,558.66 will be needed for supplies, damages and repairs.