El Salvador

El Salvador: Floods and Volcanic Activity OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Situation Report
Originally published
Ref: 2005/0149
OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Floods and Volcanic Activity - El Salvador


Floods and Landslides

1. After torrential rainfalls and mudslides, at least 23 people were killed and 2,000 evacuated in the regions south and west of the capital San Salvador. The amount of rainfall over the last 3 days is equivalent to the forecasted amount for the month of October.

2. The National Emergency System declared a status of red alert on 3 October due to the rains from tropical storm "Stan", which affected the coast of Mexico.

3. Authorities confirmed that the bridge "La Lechuza" in the area of Feria Internacional has collapsed. The road has become impassable since the beginning of the rains due to heavy traffic.

4. SNET (Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales) confirmed on 3 October that the rains will continue with greater intensity in the north of the country as it continues to be under the influence of tropical storm "Stan" as it moves towards the north of Mexico.

Volcanic Activity

5. The Santa Ana Volcano, which is located 50 km northwest of San Salvador in an area with a population of about 10,000, registered low magnitude eruptions on October 3. According to SNET, the volcano's behaviour is changing and therefore unpredictable. A 4 km radius around the volcano remains at red alert with lower elevations remaining under orange alert.

6. As of late afternoon on 3 October, 5,800 people were evacuated to 27 shelters in the departments of Santa Ana and Sonsonate.

7. According to preliminary data from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Foundation for Coffee Research (PROCAFE), the effects on the cultivated area are mainly on coffee, forests, flowers and pasture. At the moment there has been no evidence of damages to grain fields.

National Response

8. The Government set up 13 temporary shelters for people affected by the rains. It has furthermore set up an evacuation center in the Feria Internacional and the National Institute of Sports (INDES).

9. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs activated an information telephone number for Salvadorians abroad. They can obtain information about the situation by calling +507 22-31-13-30 (Humanitarian Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

10. The Ministry of Education will meet this afternoon to assess when to resume classes, which have been suspended since 3 October.

11. No formal request for international assistance from the Government has been received; so far, the situation can be handled with local resources.

In-country International Response

12. The UN Country Team continues to coordinate with the National Emergency Committee (COEN) on assistance for evacuated populations; WFP will begin provision of rations of cereals, pulses, vegetable oil and CSB from the emergency stocks.

13. A joint UN, NGO meeting chaired by WFP was held to coordinate actions and establish mechanisms for information management. A common website has been activated by the UNCT where information on requirements and shelter populations will be posted by stakeholders.

14. Additionally, a joint inter-agency assessment mission will take place shortly in order to evaluate the damage to crops, housing and infrastructure both in areas affected by the volcanic eruption and flooding in coastal areas.

15. OCHA is in close contact with the United Nations' Resident Coordinator in San Salvador and will revert with further information as it becomes available.

16.This situation report, together with further information on other ongoing emergencies is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int

MAP: El Salvador: Floods and Volcanic Activity - situation map

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
E-mail: ochagva@un.org

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officer:
Mr. Dusan Zupka
E-mail: zupka@un.org
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 1645

Mr. Ricardo Mena
E-mail: menar@un.org
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 1455

Press contact:
(GVA) Ms. Madelaine Moulin-Acevedo, direct Tel. +41-22-917 31 60
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-917-367 51 26

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.