.- Caritas International is sending staff to support relief work in flood-affected regions in El Salvador. Days of heavy rains have left 120 people dead and thousands homeless.
The country has been on a state of alert since Thursday. The heavy rains coincided with the passing of Hurricane Ida, which made landfall again as a tropical storm on the coast of Alabama on Tuesday morning.
“We’re gearing up to respond to the aftermath of the hurricane by sending staff out to the worst-affected sites to look at the damage and limit further risks,” said Wilfredo Ramírez Escobar from Caritas El Salvador. “The Government has declared a national emergency and schools and sports buildings have been made available as temporary shelters.”
The capital San Salvador and central San Vicente province were hardest hit by the rains. Large areas are without electricity or clean water and are cut off from assistance. Collapsed bridges and damaged roads have worsened the isolation of some regions.
Neighboring Nicaragua has also been hit by heavy rains, leaving 13,000 people homeless, Caritas International reports. Hurricane Ida may threaten oil and gas fields as it moves through the Gulf of Mexico. It is expected to weaken as it heads towards the U.S. coast between Louisiana and Florida.