El Salvador – Floods 2024

El Salvador has experienced heavy rains since June 14, resulting in 13 deaths and widespread flooding, prompting a 15-day State of Emergency. The General Directorate of Civil Protection in El Salvador has issued a series of progressive alerts in response to the ongoing tropical storm. The alert levels began with Green and Yellow on June 13, escalated to Orange on June 14, and reached Red on June 16, reflecting the increasing severity of the situation.

As of June 20, orange alerts are in place for 18 municipalities, and red alerts for 26 municipalities due to saturated soil and rising river levels. The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN in Spanish) reports two low-pressure systems bringing heavy rainfall from the Pacific Ocean, forecasting ongoing urban flooding, flash floods, river overflows, landslides, and rockfalls.

The Hydrological Forecast Center warns of severe urban flooding, river overflows, and widespread inundation. Between June 14 and 20, rainfall reached a maximum of 680 mm in Ahuachapán (West) and 604.8 mm in San Miguel (East). The probability of overflows remains high in several rivers and hydrographic regions.

According to the Situation Report No. 7 from the General Directorate of Civil Protection, the recent tropical storm has affected 4,045 people in El Salvador. The disaster has resulted in 13 fatalities, 12 injured people, and 2 missing people. Currently, 3,893 people are taking refuge in shelters, while 125 individuals have been evacuated but remain unsheltered. The report highlights the significant impact on the population and underscores the urgent need for ongoing support and resources.

121 shelters have been established, with 112 currently active, serving 1,508 families, including people with disabilities and pregnant women. Reports indicate 589 instances of damage to vital infrastructure, 312 affected homes, and 893 additional incidents. Humanitarian needs include food, hygiene kits, clothing, sanitation products, and items for babies and pregnant women.

Due to the Jalponga river overflow, communities such as Hoja de Sal, El Pito, El Recuerdo, and Río Viejo in Santiago Nonualco district have been heavily impacted, leading to the establishment of shelters in the Communal House and the Hoja de Sal Educational Complex, evacuating 20 families. In Villas de San Pedro, the Community Center is now a shelter, and in San José Luna, the Communal House has been enabled due to the Jiboa River overflow, affecting roads and homes, leading to the evacuation of 32 families.

As per official reports and initial community monitoring, food security is a primary concern due to significant crop losses and disruptions to livelihoods such as informal trade and artisanal fishing. It is imperative to enhance protection and response measures within the food security sector, prioritizing physical safety and promoting community resilience against future climate events.

Most pressing needs have been identified in the sectors Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, Protection (to prevent GBV), Food Security and Livelihoods. The ACT Forum El Salvador members (the Lutheran Synod of El Salvador and ALFALIT), are seeking to provide humanitarian support in the following sectors:

  • Cash for food security and livelihoods
  • Community-Based Psychosocial Support (CBPS)
  • Protection (preventing gender-based violence (GBV) and providing psychosocial support services to survivors)

Their plan involves activating the ACT Humanitarian Mechanism via a Rapid Response Fund (RRF) to reach 875 families in the 10 most affected districts, totaling 3,250 people (approximately 1,950 women and 1,300 men).