Official Statement #3
24 January 2001
10 days have passed after the earthquake that has desolated our country. I can say that Salvadorans are now waking up from this horrible nightmare; we begin to look at everything with more calm and we find 98 municipalities of the national territory are practically destroyed and according to the data published as of today, 726 deaths are reported, 4,440 wounded, 111, 401 homeless, 118,157 destroyed houses. But even with such data we continue considering it is not complete data.
Our churches continue supporting and we continue assisting on the emergency stage and the Episcopal Church of El Salvador, a small church here, has been in 8 days distributing 2,000 meals per day (16,000 meals in 8 days) to attend some communities and camps. We are getting ready for the restoration stage, which means that we will no longer provide prepared food, but rather we will give provision so that people begin feeling safety in their own places. It is a process of making them feel confident which includes pastoral and psychological attention because they are still affected by the impact of the catastrophe.
So far, after January 13, 2,147 tremors are reported and this doesn't stop frightening people. In this stage of emergency assistance we have also coordinated cooperation at an ecumenical level and this has been done through the well-known institution Action by Churches Together (ACT). Jointly with them we have assisted 14,700 families in direct attention: food, blankets, medicines, tools, tents, mattresses and drinkable water. This means attention to 73,500 people; 12% of this population is assisted by the Episcopal Church of El Salvador. ACT has also received support from PNUD and of the PNA (United Nations programs); this has been a great support to ACT.
In next days we will be projecting how the reconstruction could be done and it is so big the assistance needed that we should necessarily converge different institutions: government, churches and other institutions.
Again I thank to the whole Episcopal and Anglican Church of the United States, the Central Region of America and the Anglican Communion in general for all your support in prayers and according to your possibilities, also for your financial assistance. It is very much what we need because the work demands large quantity of resources. I request you in the name of God that you help us as much as you can. I remind you that donations can made through the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund; also to our account in New York: MISSIONARY DIOCESE OF EL SALVADOR 153 East 53rd Street, New York NY 10043 a/c 10756637. Also through CRISTOSAL in Vermont and through the treasury of IARCA in Panama. Also all the dioceses of the Episcopal Church can receive funds designated for the earthquake in El Salvador.
Again thank you and God bless you all.
The Rt Revd Martín Barahona
Bishop of El Salvador