World Vision responds to floods and landslides in El Salvador

    -  World Vision positions emergency supplies for families in San Vicente
    -  People caught off guard in hardest-hit areas; homes destroyed and
       children missing
<p><location>SAN SALVADOR</location>, <location>El Salvador</location>, <chron>Nov. 9</chron> /CNW/ - World Vision is responding to the needs of thousands of children and families impacted by the flooding and landslides in <location>El Salvador</location> over the weekend. The death toll has reached 124, including 18 children, and continues to rise as hundreds more are still missing. The floods were caused by disastrous rains due to weather patterns partially influenced by Hurricane Ida.</p>
<p>The worst-hit areas are the capital <location>San Salvador</location> and central San Vicente province where more than 7,000 are now homeless. <location>El Salvador</location> is now on high alert for the provinces of <location>San Salvador</location>, La Libertad, San Vicente, <location>La Paz</location> and Cuscatlan. There has been intense flooding and swells in the country's main rivers.</p>
<p>"People were caught off guard because the districts hardest hit by the floods and landslides are not normally prone to these types of disasters," said <person>Laura Mata</person>, Communications Manager for World Vision <location>El Salvador</location>. "Mothers are missing their children and families have lost their homes. All the crops have been washed away so there is nothing to support them even after the water subsides. They really need help from the government, other countries and aid organizations like us."</p>
<p>Most community members where Mata visited in San Vicente province have been evacuated to shelters such as the city hall and school gymnasiums.</p>
<p>"Everyone is solemn and sad, shocked by what has happened. But it's not chaotic. People are comforting each other and doing what they can to help the community," she added.</p>
<p>World Vision's emergency response team is currently in San Vicente and reports of empty streets, electricity failures, lack of safe drinking water, and the total loss of landline communications. In some areas of San Vicente, villages have completely disappeared. The Acahuapa River floods have destroyed two bridges and 30 houses in the community of La Caridad (also known as El Zapote).</p>
<p>World Vision <location>El Salvador</location> is preparing to distribute emergency supplies to families in San Vicente, including: blankets, mattress, water purification tablets and water collection bags.</p>
<p>World Vision's response will also expand to include the distribution of kitchen supplies and emergency family and child hygiene kits (towels, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary items, toilet paper, deodorant, razors lotion, baby powder, cloth diaper, baby pins, and baby bottles.</p>
<p>World Vision <location>Canada</location> is accepting donations to assist those affected by the floods. Those wishing to help can visit or call 1-800-268-5528.</p>
    -  World Vision has been working in El Salvador since 1975, with a focus
       on health, HIV and AIDS, agriculture and food safety, habitat and
       water, advocacy, and emergency relief.

    -  World Vision donors support more than 56,000 children through its
       programs, including 16,221 children supported by Canadians.

    -  World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy
       organization dedicated to working with children, families and
       communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all
       people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.

For further information: For further information: To interview World Vision staff, please contact Yoko Kobayashi, (905) 565-6200 ext. 2151, (416) 671-0086 (cell),; Britt Hamilton, (905) 565-6200 ext. 3973, (416) 419-1321 (cell),

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