LONDON , U K (Reuters AlertNet) - Tropical Storm Agatha has caused disastrous flooding and mudslides in Guatemala and El Salvador. Over 140 lives have been lost in the region and over 100,000 people have been left homeless. A massive sinkhole in Guatemala City killed at least one man, raising concerns that more sinkholes will follow.
“AmeriCares is mounting disaster relief efforts in response to Storm Agatha in Guatemala and El Salvador,” said Christoph Gorder, vice president of emergency response. “Our staff and partners on the ground will be responding to the most pressing needs of people injured or left homeless by the devastating storm.”
In preparation for hurricane season and other frequent natural disasters in the region, AmeriCares has stocked emergency relief supplies in El Salvador such as medical aid, food and hygiene items. Prepositioned medicines and medical supplies will help treat people wounded by crushing mudslides and flood debris, as well as illness caused by flood-related water contamination.
Families in Guatemala and El Salvador are especially vulnerable to dangerous flash floods and mudslides – massive avalanches of debris, dirt, water and rocks. AmeriCares helps serve medical needs of people throughout the Central American region, many of which live in tin-roofed shacks in the mountains or squalid urban slums.
“Their homes offer almost no shelter from the storms. Lack of transportation and treacherous conditions make it very difficult for families to evacuate,” said Gorder. “That’s why AmeriCares and our partners are ready to go directly into the affected communities to deliver aid to men, women and children in need.”
AmeriCares has worked extensively in El Salvador and Guatemala since 1986, delivering over $750 million worth of critical medical aid and disaster relief. Latin American countries, including El Salvador and Guatemala, are often prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and mudslides. Most recently, AmeriCares responded to the 2010 Chile Earthquake and the devastating 2009 mudslides in El Salvador.
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Updated 2422 days ago Article ID# 509283