Salvador traumatised by further quakes

 The population of El Salvador is terrified - say aid workers, after the country was rocked by a third major earthquake at the weekend. The first quake on 14 January, left 827 people dead, nearly 5,000 injured and tens of thousands homeless. A second last Wednesday, struck inland near the cities of San Vicente and Cojetupeque, killing more than 200 and destroying more than 2000 homes. Then on Saturday a further powerful earthquake shook the barrio of San Jacinto on the outskirts of the capital city San Salvador. There have been no fatalities reported so far. British Jesuit priest Fr Michael Campbell-Johnston, who works in San Salvador, said on Saturday night the people of the tiny Central American country were reeling. He said: "It's just incredible. People are desperate and are frightened to leave their houses. People just can't stop crying." Fears are growing that landslides which began a month ago, will continue since fault lines have been weakened and the rainy season is approaching. CAFOD's Head of Latin America Clare Dixon said: "People in El Salvador have lived with war and massacre, exile and Hurricane Mitch and have now had three major earthquakes and more than 2,000 aftershocks in just over a month. It's probably too early to look at psychological rehabilitation, but it's going to cause huge problems in the long term, especially for children. "The persistent tremors have also played havoc with the water systems which in many places are limited to start with. We are worried there could be serious health problems for those who can't get to uncontaminated water. "More than one million people are homeless now out of a population of just six million. Comparatively, this is like ten million people being made homeless in Britain."

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