El Salvador: Floods DREF n° MDRSV012; Operations Update n° 1

Description of the disaster

On 6 October 2018, rains began falling over eastern El Salvador due to the influence and combination of a low-pressure system in the Pacific and the tropical depression number 14 located near the Honduran Atlantic coast, prompting the Salvadorian Civil Protection System to declare a green alert for the country. On 7 October 2018, the tropical depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Michael, which continued moving north over the Yucatán channel toward the Gulf of Mexico. In response to the storm’s increasing strength, the Civil Protection System declared a yellow alert for 29 coastal municipalities on 7 October 2018; the following day, the number of municipalities under alert increased to 34 to include three municipalities in Morazán department and two in La Union department, and a green alert remained in place for the rest of the country. The rains have affected the entire country, with the hardest hit areas in El Salvador’s eastern region, specifically the cantons of El Brazo, La Canoa and El Tecomatal in the municipality of San Miguel, the cantons of San Felipe and Las Tunas in La Unión department, the cantons of Capitán Lazo and Puerto Parada in the municipality of Usulután, the canton of Metalío in Sonsonate department (western El Salvador) and the cantons of San Diego and San Rafael Abajo in the municipality of La Libertad in central El Salvador. The floods have affected most of the country’s coastal municipalities.