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Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador
Rain Devastates El Salvador
ELSALEN 051007-1
October 7, 2005

[Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador - Central America] At the end of five days of constant rain, El Salvador saw some rays of sunshine on Thursday. But the country still is under the threat of more tropical rain Friday, and so Salvadorans maintain their anxious vigil. By Friday morning, 65 people had perished in land/mudslides, some 58,000 people are still in 630 shelters, leaving them only to go to work and return there at evening.

Thirty percent of the total road surface in El Salvador has been affected by the rains and floods. Major roads are still closed by mudslides. The road that leads people to the department of La Libertad (where the Anglican Church has a beach retreat center, Cielo Mar) is still closed in parts; a twenty-five minute trip can now take four hours. The road in from the airport also is affected by landslides. Communities in the Bajo Lempa area (to the east) are still incommunicado because of washed-out bridges.

Seventy-five percent of the land is soaked, unable to absorb any more water. Coffee, bean and corn crops have been lost. All schools and universities have been closed this week.

The Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador (IAES) has been responding to the crisis. Bishop Martin Barahona appointed the Rev'd Ramiro Chávez and Human Rights Officer José López to head the Diocesan Emergency Committee.

Chávez, in writing Thursday the 6th to Coe Economou of Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD), said, "I can personally state that in our community of Lourdes, there are 1200 people in a school that is being used as a shelter. In this area, six children and nine adults died in mudslides." He adds that two diocesan employees have been greatly affected, one who was rescued from her flooded house, the other having to evacuate his home which was threatened by landslides.

The IAES has already been able to provide 250 small mattresses to shelters in the affected areas in Lourdes. IAES is hoping to receive a $25,000 emergency grant from ERD.

To see photographs, you can click on this link or copy it and paste it into your web browser:

The photo galleries are organized according to date and show photographs from all around the country.

Even as IAES hopes to receive funds from ERD, Foundation Cristosal is seeking donations to help emergency relief efforts for the Anglican communities and their neighbors. To donate, please send a check to Foundation Cristosal, 681 North Hill Cross Road, Ludlow VT 05149, and mark in the memo line "flood relief."

The IAES appreciates greatly your prayers. Que Dios les bengida.