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Devastation in El Salvador


On Monday, Hurricane Ida tore through Central America, leaving as many as several thousand dead and many more homeless. The BBC has coverage of this tragedy here, here, and here. Bishop Barahona, Anglican Bishop of El Salvador, said the following:

San Salvador, 8 November 2009 The vulnerability of the environment of Central America is exposed once again with the passage of the storm, Ida. The Primate of the Anglican Church of the Region of Central America (IARCA), the Most Rev’d Martín Barahona, sympathizes with the victims of each of the affected countries. Ida surprised Central America in the waning hours of this past Saturday (yesterday), when it landed with 145 km/hr winds. “This was a most particular phenomenon in the three hours that it rained,” said Germán Rosa, Minister of the Environment of El Salvador. In Nicaragua there are more than 40,000 affected, in Guatemala more than 100 people have been evacuated and in El Salvador there was not a definite number (as of Sunday) of homeless but the Civil Protection authorities report that there are 91 dead, 60 disappeared, and hundreds of injured. The statistics may well grow in the next hours. Bishop Barahona said that he wants to emphasize that “disasters are not natural, nor are they a punishment from God. These events challenge us to revise our systems of protection.” He added, “We are praying for the families and are in communication with other institutions and sister churches at the national, regional and international level to plan our level of action right now and after the emergency.” In El Salvador, the most affected departments are those in the central part of the country: San Vicente by the volcano Chinchontepec, which produced a mudslide of several kilometers and claimed several victims. Also, there is an orange emergency alert in the departments of San Salvador, Cuscatlán, La Libertad and La Paz. The major roads into El Salvador are blocked, electric lines are on the ground, five bridges have collapsed, thousands of people are being housed on an emergency basis, and midst all these losses are the disappeared. Bishop Barahona said that he considers “Ida to be the worst natural event of the year to strike El Salvador. It intesifies the social and economic problems with which we live. We pray to God for the life of our families, communities and countries.”
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