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Thursday, February 23, 2017
One million pounds needed for El Salvador
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¬†Aid agency CAFOD need up to £1 million to re-build houses for earthquake victims in El Salvador. The country has already suffered three major earthquakes this year, as well as more than 4,000 aftershocks - some of them measuring as much as six on the Richter scale. More than 1,000 people have died and more than 8,000 people have been injured, but a staggering million and a quarter people are homeless. The UK government's Department for International Development (DfID) approved a grant of £84,285 this week to buy tents for 300 households who have lost their homes in San Vicente and CuscatlŠn. But reports from CAFOD partners in El Salvador describe a country reeling from continuing shocks and which will take many months to recover. Fr Tim McConville runs the parish of Cristo Rey in Soyapango. He said: "The Earthquakes and tremors are continuing to cause terrible problems hitting different regions each time. They cause devastation that is hard to imagine. Here, houses that survived the first quake have been knocked down by the later ones. Families have lost that sense of security a home should give." All of the schools in El Salvador remain closed after the earthquakes and one third of all hospitals have been destroyed. Around one fifth of the population of 6.5 million is now homeless. The aftershocks are believed to be continuing because the first quake on January 13 weakened the fault lines. Although they are expected to subside within several months, long-term re-building will not be able to start for some time. Clare Dixon, Head of CAFOD's Latin America Section said: "This disaster has hit El Salvador as badly as Hurricane Mitch hit Honduras, but it hasn't made the same kind of headlines. We've also witnessed the dreadful destruction of the earthquake in India, and much of the news has been taken up by domestic stories. In the meantime, El Salvador is struggling desperately to come to terms with this latest disaster." As well as the DfID money, CAFOD has so far received £198,925 for El Salvador from the public, as well as £50,000 from Islamic Relief. Donations for El Salvador can be made to CAFOD on-line - visit their site through our links page. Or you can phone them on: 020 7733 7900.
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