Disasters & Accidents

Amanda leaves 14 people dead, 1200 families displaced in El Salvador

San Salvador, May 31 (efe-epa).- Tropical storm Amanda killed at least 14 people during its passage through El Salvador on Sunday and displaced more than 1,200 families in four departments of the country while damaging 900 houses, government authorities reported.

“We mourn and extend our deepest condolences to each of the families,” the head of the Salvadorian government cabinet, Carolina Recinos, said at a press conference.

Fifty-one shelters for over 1,200 families have been set up in the departments of La Libertad, San Salvador, Sonsonate and San Vicente, she added.

Four people are also missing, Interior Minister Mario Duran said.

Meanwhile, San Salvador Mayor Ernesto Muyshondt said that 4,000 people had been evacuated in the capital.

Floods and landslides caused by heavy rains early Sunday damaged 900 homes, most of them in San Salvador, where 50 are reported to be destroyed.

The government, which will have to divide its efforts to tackle this emergency alongside the COVID-19 epidemic, will allow hardware stores to open and operate with 40 percent capacity for people to buy equipment for repairs.

The government has also lifted the restriction on people’s movement based on their identity card number so that people can buy medicines without the need to present their ID.

During the lockdown imposed on account of COVID-19, movement has been restricted by the number of this document.

The National Commission of Civil Protection issued a red alert in the morning, following which El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele declared a nationwide state of emergency.

Tropical storm Amanda formed on Sunday and is moving over Guatemala toward Mexico, the Mexican National Weather Service (SMN) reported.

Amanda was located 210 kilometers (130 miles) east of the mouth of the Suchiate River on the border between Mexico and Guatemala and 25 kilometers east-northeast of Guatemala City, the SMN said in its 10.15 am (16.15 GMT) report.

This emergency comes amid the COVID-19 epidemic, which has already overwhelmed El Salvador’s health system and claimed the lives of 46 people.

The head of the Civil Protection Service, William Hernandez, said that the government has an alternative shelter plan for people affected in the interior part of the country since the two largest shelters are being used to deal with the epidemic. EFE-EPA


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