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U.S. Aid to El Salvador Flood/Volcano Victims

U.S. Providing Aid to El Salvador Flood/Volcano Victims

Assistance to be used for emergency-relief items, mattresses, hygiene kits

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing $50,000 in emergency aid to help the victims of recent flooding and landslides in El Salvador, where the two disasters resulted from a tropical storm and a volcanic eruption, respectively.

In an October 5 press release, USAID said it is providing $50,000 to Catholic Relief Services to distribute emergency-relief items, including mattresses and hygiene kits to affected families.

USAID said U.S. Chargé d'Affaires to El Salvador Michael Butler issued a disaster declaration October 4 due to the magnitude of damage caused by the flooding and the volcanic eruption in the country.

More information on USAID Latin America assistance is available on the USAID Web site.

Following is the text of the USAID press release, with further details:

(begin text)

Washington, D.C.

October 5, 2005

USAID Provides Assistance to the El Salvador Flood and Volcano Victims

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In response to flooding and landslides associated with Tropical Storm Stan and destruction caused by the Santa Ana (llamatepec) volcano eruption in El Salvador, USAID is providing $50,000 to Catholic Relief Services to distribute emergency relief items, including mattresses and hygiene kits, to affected families. On October 4, U.S. Chargé d'Affaires to El Salvador Michael A. Butler issued a disaster declaration due to the magnitude of damage caused by the flooding and volcanic eruption.

Since October 1, weather patterns associated with Tropical Storm Stan have produced continuous and heavy rainfall over El Salvador, causing widespread flooding and more than 300 reported landslides. The flooding and landslides have killed 47 people and forced an estimated 32,045 people to evacuate to 309 shelters nationwide, according to the National Emergency Committee (COEN).

In addition, on October 1, the Santa Ana (Ilamatepec) volcano erupted, spewing hot rocks and plumes of ash into the air. The eruption resulted in two deaths, seven injuries, and the evacuation of approximately 7,000 residents living within a four-kilometer radius of the volcano.

USAID will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional updates as necessary.

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