Diario de Hoy 10/1/99 article on flooding

Viernes 1 de octubre

More Rain and Uncertainty

Meterologists say that heavy rains will affect Salvadorans through the weekend. President Flores visited the stricken people of the Bajo Lempa and committed himself to construct a levee to protect them from flooding. More than 6500 students are losing classes. Several houses have collapsed in the municipalities of San Salvador and San Marcos.

El Diario de Hoy

Anxiety has begun to punish by the hundreds the populace of the Bajo Lempa, now sheltered in schools and shelters, above all with the prediction of the meteorologists that it will be a rainy weekend.

On a Thursday afternoon with little sun but still hot, the National Weather station said that Friday, Saturday and Sunday it will rain as the previous weekend, when floods inundated the capital and the interior.

The heaviest showers are expected for Saturday and Sunday, said the sources, which also fear -- although they will not yet confirm it -- the arrival of a hurricane to be named, "Irene."

"Several diseases are attacking the flood victims: influenzas, respiratory and   intestinal diseases, but many also are suffering of anxiety," said doctor Marco Antonio Rodriguez, of the Ministry of Health detachment in the shelters of the neighborhoods of the Bajo Lempa.

"They want to return to their homes, but they can't.  the uncertainty is killing them"  explain those who attend them.

The refuges seem well provided for and there are no signs of stockpiling. Every   day, the men go to see if their land and their animals are still there.

One count of the committee of the Red Cross gives a total of 4567 affected in the departments of Ahuachapán, La Paz, San Vicente, Usulután and La Unión.

THe National Emergency Committee (COEN) urgently requested donations of food supplies, medications and frazadas [???], as well as potable water, to help them care for the victims.

the most-requested medicines are those for infections and respiratory ailments.

Flores in the Lempa area

President Francisco Flores yesterday visited both the affected areas and the displaced, specifically the school Miguel Dueñas, where are housed six communities of the Bajo Lempa, that is to say, 154 families.

Flowers listened to their requests relative to the doantion of mattresses, the normalization of potable water provisions and the construction of a levee/dike [borda].

The President committed himself to work on the barrier as soon as the rains finish, for the resources to do it aer already counted on.  At the same, time he recommended to them that they do not return to their houses until the danger has passed.

The inhabitants of the islands Pirrayita and Pirrayona, almost forgotten by the rest of the world, expressed their nonconformity with the authorities' order that they leave the zone, although they are conscious of the danger if rains persist.

The Legislative Assembly discussed only yesterday a piece of legislation to try to aid those affected.

Deputies David Rodríguez and Shafick Handal proposed that the mayors in the affected areas be authorized to utilize monies from the Fund for Social Economic Development (FODES) in order to secure them aid.  But the motion was sent to the Commission of Municipal Affairs for study.

Landslides in the Capital

In San Salvador, the Acelhuate River hit several houses in the colonia Gallegos, in the east of the City, which threaten to collapse. Those affected in this community say that they have not received aid and remain in their houses, which are practically on the riverbank.

It has been different for the neighbors of the community San Luis Portlaes, who are receiving attention from the Ministry of Health and the mayor's office in San Salvador.

In the municipality of San Marcos, one house collapsed and three others remian on the brink of falling.

The emergency has caused the cancellation of classes for 6500 children, whether becasue they have been directly affected by the floods or because their schools have been converted into emergency shelters, especially in the East.

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