- EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The arrival of Tropical Depression 12E in El Salvador on 10 October 2011 brought unprecedented heavy rainfall, accumulating more rain than Hurricane Mitch in 1998, and exceeding rain levels registered in the last 50 years. Due to the persistence of the storm, two low-pressure systems were generated, leading to torrential rains for more than ten days, causing severe flooding and landslides in 181 municipalities of most of the country’s 14 departments, affecting more than 500,000 people and flooding 2,000 km2, equivalent to 10% of the country.
This record-breaking rainfall levels caused all of the nation’s dams to reach their maximum capacity levels, thus triggering a rise in the discharge volume to 9,000 cubic metres per second, further flooding populated zones and crops downstream, similar to what occurred with the devastating Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Data from the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources shows that the levels of rainfall between 10 and 18 October reached 1,500 millimetres. El Salvador’s historical annual average rainfalls are 1,800mm. With 2,378 mm due to the DT12E, 2011 in El Salvador is the second highest rainfall year.
Due to the extent and magnitude of the impact, as well as the severe damage caused by rains in agricultural areas and infrastructure, El Salvador now faces one of the greatest disasters in its history.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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