El Salvador Earthquake II Fact Sheet #8 (FY 2001)
U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
BUREAU FOR HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE (BHR)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)
On January 13, 2001 at approximately 11:35 am local time, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 on the Richter Scale and a depth of 60 km occurred off the El Salvadoran coastline some 65 miles southwest of San Miguel at 12.8 degrees latitude and 88.8 degrees longitude. On February 13, 2001 at 8:22 am local time, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6 on the Richter Scale and a depth of about 13 km struck El Salvador. The earthquake’s epicenter was located some 30 km east of San Salvador in San Pedro Nonualco in the department of La Paz, and was felt throughout El Salvador and in Guatemala and Honduras. The quake lasted approximately 10 seconds. Consistent with expected seismic activity following earthquakes of this magnitude, aftershocks continue to occur in El Salvador.
El Salvador’s National Emergency Committee (COEN) has provided data for the table below. The figures for the January 13 earthquake were last updated by COEN on February 9, and on February 21 for the February 13 earthquake. COEN is not updating information daily, but will provide new numbers as they receive additional reports from the municipalities and departments.
Current Situation After February 13 Earthquake
COEN is coordinating the overall response from its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) (e.g. conducting damage and needs assessments, compiling assessment information, and setting relief priorities), working closely with the Salvadoran Armed Forces and other rescue organizations. COEN departmental committees are working in close coordination with COEN’s main office in relief efforts.
The Government of El Salvador (GOES) issued a new appeal on February 13 for aid from the international community for victims of the new earthquake.
The GOES estimates that the cost of rebuilding after the two earthquakes is more than $2.8 billion.
The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that the rehabilitation of hospitals and health centers will cost $162 million.
Seventeen health posts have been affected by the earthquake and will have to operate in temporary shelters.
The USAID/OFDA assessment team visited Cuscatlan, San Vicente, La Paz, and San Salvador on February 16 and 18 and reported 80%-95% destruction of buildings and homes in the visited municipalities.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports that hundreds of landslides occurred around Lake Ilopango, making the road around the lake impassable in some places. The debris flows along the margins of Lake Ilopango have altered drainage patterns, which could cause sediment dams to form during the rainy season.
USGS identified a large landslide that formed on the north flank of the Chichontepeque Volcano, but it does not pose an immediate risk to the sparsely populated area. The areas east and west of the landslide at Las Colinas (site of landslides after both earthquakes) continue to be high-risk zones. Las Colinas has been evacuated since the January 13 earthquake.
As of March 2, the National Water Administration (ANDA) reports that water services have been restored in all municipalities except Cojutepeque, Candelaria, San Ramon, Santa Cruz Michapa, and El Carmen (all in Cuscatlan Department). ANDA has contracted a private company to repair the water systems in the areas affected by the February 13 earthquake.
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that 70,000 people lack drinking water and depend on water carried in by trucks. UNICEF has taken the lead in organizing the provision of water to the departments of San Vicente, Cuscatlan, and La Paz, working closely with PAHO/WHO and ANDA.
Multilateral Organization Response
A four-member United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) Team arrived in El Salvador on February 14 to support the United Nations Resident Coordinator.
OCHA allocated $30,000 for the purchase of emergency relief supplies and similarly used three grants of $30,000 each from the governments of Denmark, Italy, and Norway.
PAHO/WHO issued a $5.6 million appeal on February 15 for emergency needs in the health sector, including disease control, rehabilitation of health infrastructure, food safety, water and sanitation, and vector control.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced on February 13 the approval of a $20 million emergency loan for El Salvador. A $15 million portion of the loan will be used to provide families with basic housing kits and to fund clean-up and debris removal. A $3.9 million portion will go toward the control of unstable hillsides in populated areas. In addition, the IDB held a Consultative Group meeting for the reconstruction of El Salvador on March 7 in Madrid, Spain. The meeting focused on reconstruction issues related to both earthquakes. According to the IDB, $1.3 billion in aid has been pledged by various countries in support of reconstruction efforts.
The World Food Program (WFP) is buying food supplies locally for $537,000. This purchase will allow for the partial replenishment of stocks (primarily maize, pulses, and vegetable oil) and for the provision of emergency food assistance for two weeks.
OCHA reports efficient food distribution in affected areas. WFP’s food rations have been complemented by hot food, water, and relief items provided by private sources and the Government of El Salvador.
- The governments of Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua sent rescue brigades to help extricate people buried by landslides and collapsed homes.
- The Government of Mexico sent 65 soldiers and air force personnel to El Salvador on February 14, along with a medical team and medical supplies.
- The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has made approximately $60,000 available for emergency relief.
- The Government of the Netherlands provided an emergency cash grant of $42,000 through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
- The Government of Canada provided $675,000 through PAHO/WHO, IFRC, and NGOs for emergency assistance. In addition, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is providing $130,000 towards the PAHO appeal for both El Salvador earthquakes.
- The Government of the Dominican Republic provided relief supplies valued at $146,370.
- The Government of Venezuela contributed a field hospital with three surgical rooms for the municipality of Verapaz.
- The Government of Spain (GOS) sent relief supplies, four doctors, and five search and rescue experts to El Salvador. The GOS has also offered to loan the GOES $36 million to help with relief work.
- The Government of Japan gave approximately $2.1 million to the GOES for the procurement of materials to construct 10,000 units of prefabricated housing, and about $345,000 to the Japanese Red Cross for emergency shelter.
- On March 13, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) announced that it is providing approximately $7.3 million in response to the February earthquake, bringing its total earthquake contribution to more than $9.1 million. ECHO will channel the funds through several partner NGOs and other international organizations. Almost half of the funding will be used to provide temporary emergency shelters and the remainder will be used for health and water and sanitation interventions.
U.S. Government (USG) Assistance After February 13 Earthquake
Chargé d’Affaires Mark Boulware declared an earthquake disaster on February 13, providing an immediate sum of $25,000 for the local purchase of relief supplies. This disaster declaration allowed for the provision of additional USG assistance, outlined below.
USAID Personnel / Assessment Team
Two USAID/OFDA personnel were in San Salvador at the time of the earthquake. They immediately began liaising with COEN, the Salvadoran Red Cross, the Government of El Salvador (GOES), the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador, and the USAID Mission to ascertain the extent of damage and humanitarian needs and coordinate assistance.
The USAID/OFDA Senior Regional Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean arrived in El Salvador on February 14 to lead the 4-person USAID/OFDA assessment team.
USAID/OFDA has increased the number of rolls of plastic sheeting provided to El Salvador in response to the February 13 earthquake to 4,020. The purchase and transport of the plastic sheeting totals $1,195,871. USAID/OFDA will continue to purchase and transport plastic sheeting for El Salvador through the end of April in support of temporary shelter construction. On March 12, 226 rolls were provided to Peace Corps volunteers for distribution in the communities where they have been working. An additional 125 rolls were provided to three local organizations.
As part of BHR’s commitment for recovery efforts in response to the earthquakes in El Salvador, USAID/OFDA provided USAID/San Salvador with $3 million on March 5. This assistance will be used in support of water and sanitation and health activities.
USAID/OFDA is providing a total of $2,688,000 in grants to six NGOs to build shelters for approximately 9,000 families in Cuscatlan, San Vicente, and La Paz. The shelter programs will utilize USAID/OFDA plastic sheeting and involve beneficiaries in debris removal and shelter construction. The USAID/OFDA shelter grants will be awarded to:
- CHF to build temporary shelters for 1,533 families ($550,654).
- CARE to build temporary shelters for 2,500 families ($955,564).
- Project Concern International (PCI) to build temporary shelters for 200 families ($30,000).
- Samaritan’s Purse to build temporary shelters for 1,061 families ($202,069).
- Save the Children to build temporary shelters for 2,500 families ($749,195).
- Lutheran World Federation to build temporary shelters for 1,200 families ($199,680).
- On February 16, USAID/OFDA provided $530,000 for the local purchase of relief supplies, administrative support, and the establishment of 18 temporary health posts. Funds are also supporting the temporary provision of potable water to three hospitals until water tanks are installed to meet interim water needs. Using these funds, USAID/OFDA has:
- provided a total of $150,000 to CARE, Save the Children, and Samaritan’s Purse for the local purchase and distribution of relief commodities.
- provided $100,000 to the Cooperative Housing Foundation (CHF) for the construction of 18 temporary health posts for severely affected towns and rural villages currently lacking emergency medical facilities.
- locally purchased 10,000 blankets, 10,000 mattresses, 14,000 5-gallon water jugs, and 15,035 3-gallon water jugs with potable water. In Cuscatlan Department, Save the Children will distribute all of the 3-gallon water jugs, mattresses, and blankets, and 6,000 of the 5-gallon water jugs. CARE will distribute 8,000 5-gallon water jugs in the departments of Cuscatlan, San Vicente, and La Paz.
On March 2, U.S. President George Bush met with El Salvador’s President Flores and announced that the USG has pledged $52 million in post-earthquake reconstruction assistance to El Salvador for FY 2001. This funding is being channeled through USAID/San Salvador.
USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) is contributing 1,750 MT of P.L. 480 Title II emergency food commodities valued at $917,700 to WFP to replenish the stocks it has distributed to the victims of the January 13 and February 13 earthquakes. USAID/FFP is also planning to contribute 900 MT of rice.
WFP is conducting the first comprehensive food survey in response to the earthquakes. A USAID/Guatemala staff member will accompany the WFP team.
Three helicopters (2 Blackhawk and 1 Chinook) from the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Southern Command responded to priorities established by COEN and the Salvadoran Armed Forces from February 14 to 16 at a cost of $116,000. The helicopters were used to move Salvadoran military personnel and transport injured victims to the military hospital in San Salvador. The Chinook was used to transport a Mexican army field hospital.
DOD’s Southern Command is delivering a shipment of construction equipment, including two five-ton dump trucks, two twenty-ton dump trucks, two bulldozers, and one truck. The shipment is scheduled to arrive on April 1 and is valued at $944,000, including transportation costs. Southern Command is also planning a shipment of tents, blankets, and sheets in mid-April. Total cost for these items including transport is $880,000.
On February 18, DOD’s Southern Command deployed a Medical Readiness Training (MEDRETE) unit consisting of DOD reserve medical personnel training for deployment to disasters. The training exercise was rescheduled to allow for response to the February 13 earthquake. The MEDRETEs were in the departments of Usulutan, La Paz, and Cuscatlan and provided patients with outpatient care through February 29.
USGS personnel in the region conducted aerial assessments of damage from the February earthquake.
For more than 10 years, USAID/OFDA has provided extensive training in El Salvador and neighboring Central American countries to increase their local capacity to prepare for and respond to natural disasters. Courses include Damage and Needs Assessment, Advanced First Aid, and Rescue from Collapsed Structures.
USAID/OFDA also contributes funds to GeoHazards International (GHI) to reduce seismic hazards in San Salvador as part of a larger grant supporting similar work in 12 other earthquake-prone cities along the Pacific Rim.
USAID/OFDA provided USGS with $30,000 to assess the risk of flooding, erosion, and slope failure due to landslides, which may occur during the rainy season. Six USGS technical experts will arrive in El Salvador by March 15.
USAID/BHR Funding Summary
|USAID/OFDA||Disaster Assistance Authority for local purchase of relief supplies||
|USAID/OFDA||4,020 rolls of plastic sheeting||
|USAID/OFDA||Local purchase of relief supplies||
|USAID/OFDA||Shelter grants to CHF, CARE, PCI, Samaritan’s Purse, Save the Children, and Lutheran World Federation||
|USAID/OFDA||Fundcite for USAID/San Salvador recovery efforts||
|Total||USAID/OFDA Assistance for February 13 Earthquake||
|USAID/FFP||1,750 MT of P.L. 480 Title II Food Commodities||
|Total||USAID/BHR Assistance for February 13 Earthquake||
|USAID/OFDA||Total Assistance for January 13 Earthquake||
|TOTAL||USAID/BHR Assistance for January 13 and February 13 Earthquakes||
Public Donation Information
In the interest of effective coordination of public response, USAID encourages the public to contact directly those private voluntary organizations (PVOs) currently working in the region to provide monetary donations.
A list of the PVOs may be obtained from the USAID web site at http://www.usaid.gov/. Those interested in providing specific technical relief services or commodities should contact Volunteers in Technical Assistance's (VITA’s) Disaster Information Center for information and guidelines at 703-276-1914.
USAID will not deviate from standard Denton Program procedures for transporting privately donated relief supplies. USAID will prioritize delivery of essential relief commodities. For more information on the Denton Program, please refer to the USAID website at http://www.usaid.gov/hum_response/pvc/denton.html.
For additional information about the relief effort in El Salvador, please refer to the Natural Disasters section of ReliefWeb at http://www.reliefweb.int/.
The American Red Cross donations hotline is 1-800-HELP NOW.
El Salvador’s National Commission for Solidarity, charged with receiving and distributing contributions from the international community, provides official guidance for cash donations at http://www.rree.gob.sv/.
USAID/OFDA fact sheets can be obtained from the USAID web site at http://www.usaid.gov/hum_response/ofda/situation.html