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Thursday, December 8, 2016
Race against time to rescue quake victims
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¬†Aid is being rushed to El Salvador following the massive earthquake which devastated the country on Sunday. Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and southern Mexico were also rocked by the 7.6 magnitude quake. Each day since the tragedy the Pope has sent messages to Archbishop Fernando Saenz Lacalle of San Salvador, assuring the people of his prayers and support. He has also appealed to the international community to aid the stricken country. Aftershocks and the threat of more mudslides continued in the area on Monday and Tuesday. Hundreds of people have been killed and many more are missing feared dead. Auxiliary Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chavez of San Salvador said that all the country's parishes are being turned into relief centres for the distribution of emergency food, medicine and clothing as well as counselling and support for survivors. CAFOD has already sent £10,000 to the country. A spokesman said on Monday that the situation was grim in and around the capital city. However, he said there was particular concern for rural area where the death toll was not so high, but thousands had lost their homes. A message from the Jesuit Development Service, said: "Probably the most serious damage has been done to the small rural villages of El Salvador. In eastern El Salvador, the press are already reporting 90 per cent of houses destroyed in the municipality of Berlin." Clare Dixon, from CAFOD's Latin American and Caribbean section, said: "The situation is tragic. Our prayers are with the families of those who have been buried by the landslides." El Salvador has been feeling tremors for several weeks and these are continuing. CAFOD has heard that partners in Guatemala and the Chiapas region of Mexico. The emergency grant is going towards food, clothes, mattresses, blankets, medicines, and housing materials. Further funds are also being earmarked for long term humanitarian assistance. A spokesman said the agency has received many calls from parishes in England and Wales who have already held collections for El Salvador. CAFOD works in El Salvador with the International Caritas network. If you would like to make a donation, visit their website through our links page.
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