Hurricane Stan struck Central America in early October and was followed by torrential rains causing floods and triggering over 900 mudslides. More than 2,000 people are estimated to have been killed across the region and hundreds of thousands have been left homeless.
Guatemala is the worst affected country. Almost a quarter of a million people have been affected, with over 140,000 displaced and now living in temporary shelters. Entire villages were buried under massive avalanches of mud up to 40ft deep.
The disaster has affected one in five people in Guatemala. As always it is the poorest communities, indigenous Mayans, who are worst hit by the disaster, with mountainside villages completely engulfed in the mudslides.
The Government has declared a state of emergency, and requested international assistance.
In neighbouring El Salvador a population already shaken by the recent earthquake and volcanic eruption now faces the aftermath of the tropical storm. Around 300 communities were flooded and more than 50,000 people have taken refuge in shelters throughout the country.
Islamic Relief Response
IR has teamed up with CAFOD, and have contributed 100,000 GBP to CAFOD’s emergency response.
In El Salvador, CAFOD’s partners have already helped 275 families with food, mattresses, blankets and medicines. They plan to reach 13,500 people in 22 rural communities with emergency relief, concentrating on evacuees living in temporary shelters.
The relief consists of health, food, shelter, community organisation, and the initial phase of economic regeneration. This work will cover three municipalities, Guaymango, Michapa and El Carmen, in western and central El Salvador. A second partner will be carrying out health work in coastal areas.
In Guatemala, CAFOD’s partner is organising eight collection centres for food and other basics. Distributions of food and essential items will also take place in the capital and other less-affected areas of Guatemala.
IR maintains a good working relationship with CAFOD, who have generously contributed to Islamic Relief's emergency work in the past in Iran, Afghanistan, Goma and Chechnya amongst others.