Help needed to respond to devastating floods in El Salvador

The message below is from Michael Ring of US-El Salvador Sister Cities

Dear Friends,

The situation in El Salvador is critical in certain parts of the country following the weekend's torrential rains and subsequent flooding and mudslides.

For details on the devastation, see the message below from our sisters and brothers on the ground who are
already working on emergency assistance for affected communities.

Funds will be critical to both the emergency effort and subsequent rebuilding. Please contribute what you can and share with other concerned people who may be able to help.

All contributions are tax deductible and can be sent to:

US-El Salvador Sister Cities
P.O. Box 2543
Plattsburgh, NY 12901

Thank you for your response to this emergency.

In solidarity,


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "U.S.-E.S. Sister Cities"

Sent: Monday, November 9, 2009 5:33:34 PM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: [sc-internal] News from CRIPDES and sistered communities about flooding in El Salvador

Committee contacts, please forward this information on to others in your committee - not all committee members are subscribed directly to this list. Thank you!

Dear Sister Cities members and friends,

Thank you for your messages of concern and requests for information from CRIPDES and sistered communities damaged by the floods in El Salvador. We share here the latest news that we have from CRIPDES' national office and updates from several sister communities that you may be particularly concerned to hear news from.

If you are in direct contact with folks from your sister communities and have more news please pass it along. We will share more updates from our end as soon as we have them.

As the message below from (CRIPDES President) Rosa Centeno says, the flooding is taking all of CRIPDES' attention for at least the coming week, and donations for the emergency response fund are needed now and will continue to be needed. The Sister City committee in Crystal Lake was able to raise $600 today for emergency response. Please email news of pledges of any size to so that we can front the money immediately to the emergency response effort in ES.

Thank you. Please read the real updates, below. (First news from sister communities, then the update from CRIPDES.)

In solidarity,
Sister Cities staff

1. Updates from some sister communities:
Chilama: roughly four houses were flooded, one was completely destroyed, the casa comunal and community church were damaged, along with the road.
El Charcon: The river came up very high in the community, but there was not a lot of damage to houses or crops. The water did almost reach the Casa Comunal.
Guajoyo: No damage to houses or crops.
Las Anonas: Roughly 6 houses closest to the river filled up with water, and the road inside the community flooded. The biggest damage has been the large amount of crops that have been destroyed.
El Milagro and El Porvenir: only crops have been affected.
Agua Caliente: does not have access to potable water because the water pipes were damaged when the Quetzalapa River overflowed. There were also many manzanas of beans and corn that were washed away. No houses were damaged and all the people in the community are safe.
Cinquera: did not suffer damages, although the bridge on the road that leads to Cinquera, over the Quetzalapa River, has broken in half, and 150 meters of road was washed away by the water.

We have not heard of damages in the rest of the sistered communities, although all farmers are suffering from the flooding of the bean, corn and rice crops.

2. Update from CRIPDES:

San Salvador, November 9, 2009

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Official reports reveal that, as a result of Hurricane Ida, 124 Salvadorans have died due to massive flooding and mudslides. In various municipalities of El Salvador, more than 10,000 people have been evacuated, 60 people have disappeared, and thousands of people have sought refuge in temporary shelters.

Various departments have been affected, including La Paz, La Libertad, Cuscatlan, and San Salvador. More than twenty bridges have collapsed and road destruction has isolated many Salvadorans.

The municipality of Verapaz in the department of San Vicente is one of the most affected. The town is the home of over seven thousand people and is located 71 kilometers away from San Salvador on the outskirts of the volcano Chinchontepec. The municipality suffered a mud slide that destroyed 100 homes, damaged 100 others, crushed cars of all sizes, and buried 12 people. Fifty others are missing.

On November 8, 2009, the president of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes, declared a nation-wide state of emergency. It is estimated that between Saturday night and Sunday morning, 335 millimeters of rain fell, an incredible amount when compared to the 400 millimeters that fell in four days during the devastating Hurricane Mitch of 1998.

As of now, we have acquired preliminary data concerning the zones in which CRIPDES works:

Department of La Libertad:

Municipality of La Libertad: With the support of the allied organization CORDES, CRIPDES has detected that there are 26 affected communities with a combined population of 4,238 people, 1,067 families, 1,473 men, 1,613 women, 78 pregnant women, 460 boys, and 314 girls.

Department of San Salvador:

Municipality of Aguilares: Five affected communities with 68 families, 350 people, 178 women, and 175 men.

Municipality of El Paisnal: Three affected communities, 17 families, 85 people, 45 women, and 42 men.

Department of La Paz:

Municipality of San Juan Pepezontes: Sixty affected families, 305 people, 159 women, and 156 men. We believe that these numbers will grow, as we have not yet acquired all of the data.

Municipality of Zacatecoluca: Ninety-one affected families, 455 people, 237 women, and 235 men.

Department of San Vicente:

Municipality of Guadalupe: Eight people have died, and there is no water or electricity. We do not yet have complete information on the affected population.

The affected Salvadoran population is in need of food, clothing, bedding, water, hygiene kits, medicine, and shelter. We are calling out to our friends and supporters to assist us in our efforts to help the hurricane victims and work to rebuild their lives.

CRIPDES will send out a budget outlining the resources needed to help the struggling families as soon as possible. We plan to continue providing these resources for at least one week.


Rosa María Centeno Valle

CRIPDES President

(503) 22263717 / 22354005 / fax 22263560,

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