Rain continues to fall in El Salvador and our partners in the Lower Lempa region of Jiquilisco, Usulután are flooded out. They face a double threat: 1) massive rainfalls that have no where drain, and 2) the Lempa River which has busted through and is flowing over the levees.
Here is a short slideshow of photos taken Thursday night and Friday in the Lempa.
Here are the latest numbers from the community evacuation shelters:
Ciudad Romero – 82 people
Zanmorano (mostly evacuees from Nueva Esperanza) – 150 people
El Marillo – 78 people
Amando Lopez – 150 people
Jiquilisco – 99 people
Las Mesitas – 114 people
Isla de Mendez – 47 people
Comunidad Octavio Ortiz – 8 families
The September 15th Dam, which is just upriver from the Lower Lempa, is currently releasing water at a rate of 3000 cm/sec, which is lower than the 5500 cm/sec earlier in the week, but still high. Civil Protection officials are warning that the release rate may go back up above 5000 later today because of the large amounts of rain that continues to fall throughout El Salvador and Guatemala and drains to the Lempa River.
There are four large holes in the levees that protect the communities, so even with the lower flow rates from the dam, water continues to pour inland.
The good news is that all of the work over the past two years to better coordinate rescue efforts has paid off and all of the different government agencies and international organizations are working closer together to serve the needs of those affected.
But the needs are great and Central Command has asked that we help take care of the needs at community shelters such as the one Amando Lopez. The other day Voices set out to raise $3000 to help the shelters and so far we raised only $1300, $800 of which we just used to purchase small mattresses for the Amando Lopez shelter where people have been sleeping on the floor. We are also buying general supplies for the shelters.
The $1300 we’ve raised so far is providing great benefit, but the needs are tremendous at this point, and we ask that if you haven’t already given, please go to our website (www.votb.org) or blog (www.voiceselsalvador.wordpress.com) and click on the Donate Now button. Even easier – here is the URL for our Network for Good page – cut and past that into your browser… Its easy and just takes a second.
We ask one other thing – please send this update to your friends and family and ask them to also make a donation – no contribution is too small.
Your donation is not going to a large Institution with high overhead – it going directly to the communities where the needs are.