Cross posted from Voices from El Salvador
A major flooding crisis in El Salvador has become truly critical in the past 24 hours. The number of evacuated persons has risen to at least 13,878 and Civil Protection continues to call for more. In the past 12 hours over 200 ml (approximately 8 inches) of rain fell nationwide, and the national death toll has risen to at least 27 people. Many roads are now impassable due to flooded rivers and creeks, as well as land slides. Civil Protection has registered 590 land slides, 472 damaged or destroyed homes, and 998 homes in grave risk.
In the Lower Lempa, the CEL [upstream dam] is currently releasing 8000 cubic meters of water per second, levels not seen since Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The levees are already seriously compromised and the Mayor of Jiquilisco is calling for a complete evacuation of the Lower Lempa, as ordered by Civil Protection. The Salvadoran Navy and Armed Forces has dispatched boats and vehicles to help facilitate evacuations.
The Rio Grande San Miguel in Puerto Parada, a more remote area where we have begun to work in recent years, has completely overflowed. This slideshow shows the extremity of the situation.
We at EcoViva are working in coordination with our partners on an emergency response plan and will be posting further information as the situation develops.