Floods displace thousands in El Salvador

Nov. 18, 2009 at 12:07 PM
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SAN SALAVADOR, El Salvador, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- More than 15,000 people in El Salvador have been displaced by recent flooding caused by heavy rainfall and Hurricane Ida, Oxfam International said.

The international organization dedicated to fighting poverty worldwide said in a release Tuesday thousands of El Salvador residents are living in shelters in the wake of Nov. 7-8 storms that caused major flooding and landslides in parts of the country.

"The scenes of floods and landslides that struck El Salvador last week reflect a storm of almost unbelievable intensity. More than 200 people are dead or missing, more than 1,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed, and crops that the rural population depends on for food have been obliterated," Carolina Castrillo, an Oxfam official based in San Salvador, said.

The widespread destruction caused by the storm prompted residents of impacted towns and villages to be relocated to emergency shelters, which now are struggling with supply shortages.

"Needs are significant across all of the affected areas with only 123 shelters accommodating more than 15,000 displaced residents. The damage is severe, and reconstruction and replacement of houses, infrastructure and crops will take a long time," said Castrillo, the regional director for Oxfam in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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