Flooding Devastates Central America

19 Oct 2011   |   Blog   |   Emergencies   |   Latin America   |   Emergency Relief

Tags:  Caritas Australia, flooding, El Salvador, Latin America, Guatemala   |   No comments

Relief team trying to reach local communities, El Salvador. Photo credit: Caritas Internationalis

16-22 October is Anti-Poverty Week and so far this week, thousands of vulnerable people throughout Asia, and now Central America, have lost their homes and livelihoods to flooding.

Monday’s blog reported the floods in Asia (affecting the Philippines, Cambodia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh). But now, torrential rains have also caused flooding in Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras).

Caritas Australia’s Latin America Program Coordinator, Margaret Fyfe, said this has had an enormous impact on Central America, with 12 out of 14 regions severely affected by the downpour, and over 13,000 people forced to flee the rising waters.

The government of Guatemala has declared it a national disaster. Reports estimate that 154,000 people have been affected, 30,000 homes have been destroyed and 6,913 people have been evacuated. More than 8,000 people are now in temporary accommodation, 29 are confirmed dead and three people remain missing.

In El Salvador many bridges and roads have been destroyed, and there are serious food security concerns as many harvests have also been destroyed.

The Choluteca region of Honduras is also on high alert. The Caritas network is working with regional members in responding to humanitarian needs.

“When you consider there is a human face to the numbers, we’re dealing with a tragic event,” said Sister Fyfe.

Across Central America the Caritas network is assisting in providing temporary accommodation, medical attention, clothing, food and water for thousands in the region.

Help Caritas Australia respond to emergencies across the globe. Donate today to our Emergency Relief Fund (select ‘where it’s needed most’).

For more up-to-date information, head to the newsroom.


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