Oxfam to fly out aid to El Salvador
Oxfam's aid flight is being funded by the Department for International Development (DfID). The equipment includes small water tanks which can be put up very quickly, tap stands, piping, buckets and shelter.
"There's no electricity or water. Clean water is the biggest need at the moment. The challenge for aid agencies such as Oxfam is to help people who have lost everything," said Joost Martens, Oxfam's representative in Latin America
Mr Martens himself narrowly missed tragedy at the weekend during the massive mudslide.
"I was in the garden with my wife when the avalanche happened. It was as if the earth split open. The sound was deafening. We were lucky in that the only damage to our house was tiles fell from the roof, windows were smashed and all the pictures fell off the wall. Aftershocks have meant that my family and I have taken refuge in the Oxfam office in San Salvador, we were very, very lucky. The mudslide just wiped away the side of the mountain, it was like an avalanche of sand and earth which covered 500 homes, the mud stopped just four blocks away from our house."
Reports from the field suggest that as well as the giant mudslide that affected Santa Tecla five other areas in El Salvador have been severely affected by the earthquake. Communication and transportation in El Salvador is very difficult and Oxfam will be evaluating over the coming days where its efforts can be best spent.
Oxfam, which has been working in El Salvador for over thirty years, will be assessing the longer-term needs for El Salvador to help it rebuild peoples' lives after such devastation.
For further information about Oxfam's response or to arrange interviews, call the Oxfam media unit on 01865 312498 or the Duty Press Officer Julia Tilford on 07803 387497.