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Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador
Torrential Rains Create Emergency in El Salvador
ELSALEN 051005-1
October 5, 2005

[Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador - Central America] In addition to the recent volcanic eruption near the city of Sta Ana, which caused the evacuation of some 4500 people over this past weekend, El Salvador has been struggling with major floods and landslides brought on by Hurricane Stan which made landfall in Mexico yesterday. The storm has spawned heavy rain in all of Central America and the end of the rains is not yet in sight.

In El Salvador, the Rio Lempa area to the east, greatly affected by the rains of Hurricane Mitch several years ago, is once again flooded due to the hydroelectric company discharging water. Trees have fallen blocking roads. Outside of San Salvador, to the west, landslides close to the congregation of San Mateo, Lourdes, have affected traffic on the major east-west road, Los Chorros, out of the capitol city.

Deaths attributed to the rains have already mounted to 49 persons nation-wide. "This is a national tragedy because of the rains," said Eduardo Rivera, a spokesman for a team of Salvadoran rescue officials. "There isn't a corner of the country where there isn't pain and destruction to be found."

More than 16,700 Salvadorans had fled their homes for 167 shelters nationwide. Among those evacuated were residents of Santa Tecla, outside the capital, San Salvador. Officials have worried the mountain running alongside the neighborhood might collapse again with heavy rains or another quake.

More close to the Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador (IAES), Human Rights Officer, Jose Lopez, had to evacuate his home on Monday, which is in a high-risk zone (his home is on the side of the mountain facing San Salvador). His mother is with his sister and Jose is staying at the pro-cathedral of San Juan in San Salvador.

Lopez, along with Padre Ramiro Chavez, a priest of the IAES, is monitoring the situation and assessing needs of people affected both by the volcanic eruption and the floods.

Cristosal is accepting donations to help the church with relief work. If you would like to support this work, please make a check out to 'Foundation Cristosal' and note in the memo line 'flood relief.'

Donations may be sent to:

Foundation Cristosal, 681 North Hill Cross Road, Ludlow VT 05149.

Please pray for the people of El Salvador, as they face these dangerous rains, that the rains may stop quickly and there be no further loss of life.