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Amanda leaves destructive floods and landslides as it passes through El Salvador

Overview of the destruction caused by the flooding of the Acelhuate River in the New Israel Community in San Salvador, El Salvador, Sunday, May 31, 2020. © UNICEF/UNI334460/Melendez

SAN SALVADOR, 31 May 2020 – Heavy rain, floods and landslides have left tropical storm Amanda in its path through El Salvador, causing death of at least 14 people, including 1 child and putting thousands of families at risk throughout the territory. Authorities have been conducting a preliminary damage assessment and estimate that only in San Salvador 900 homes have been affected.

Calculations show that during a 24 hour period, rainfall amounts to 10% of what usually rains in the whole country in a year. These accumulated precipitations have generated more than 30 landslides, more than 20 major floods in different departments of the country and overflowing rivers causing collapse of houses and material damage. Road connectivity has also been affected and water, electricity and telephone services have been interrupted.

“In the context of COVID-19, tropical storm Amanda has exacerbated the needs and vulnerabilities of children being left homeless, losing their belongings, including school supplies and have had to move to shelters to protect themselves,” says UNICEF Representative Yvette Blanco.

To date, more than 80 shelters have been set up to provide accommodation to hundreds of families who have had to be evacuated from their households. The most urgent needs for affected children are clean water, hygiene supplies and personal protection to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among other diseases, food, clothing, blankets and safe spaces for their protection.

UNICEF is working with authorities, the United Nations system and partners to ensure that children are kept safe and receive the necessary support, especially in the water, sanitation, hygiene and protection sectors.

Media Contacts

Irene Sánchez
Communication Specialist
UNICEF El Salvador

Laurent Duvillier
Regional Chief of Communication
UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean
Tel: + 507 3017393
Tel: + 507 6169 9886