Worthy Christian News » Christian » International Aid To Send Blankets, Medicines to Victims of Second El Salvador Quake
SPRING LAKE, Michigan (Feb. 15, 2001) -- (Assist) It had been slightly more than a month since a devastating earthquake rocked El Salvador, killing more than 800 people and leaving 200,000 more homeless. Yet the forces of nature weren't through with the Central American people: A second quake -- this one measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale -- ripped through the country early Tuesday morning, killing 237 people and injuring approximately 1700 more, many of them children who had just reported for school.
In the wake of this latest disaster, International Aid, a health-focused Christian relief and training agency based in Spring Lake, Michigan, is preparing to send blankets, medicines, personal hygiene kits and school kits to survivors in San Vicente, La Paz, La Libertad and Cuscatlan. According to news reports, the four communities, located east of the capital city of San Salvador, were among the hardest hit in Tuesday's quake. Those reports further indicated another 2,200 homes were destroyed in this latest disaster.
"In San Vicente alone, approximately 45 percent of the homes were destroyed in the first earthquake," notes Sonny Enriquez, Disaster Relief Coordinator for International Aid. "They had just begun to rebuild, when this happened, and now we're hearing approximately 85 percent of the homes have been destroyed there. Can you imagine the trauma, the sense of insecurity that comes with going to sleep in your home and not knowing if you will wake up the next day? That is what these people have to live with."
And it is one reason why International Aid and other church-based organizations have taken such an active role in responding to the needs of the people of El Salvador, he says.
"We know the physical pain is there, and the hardship of rebuilding, but the fear that is over them is what is the most difficult. The churches help to allay that fear by infusing an essence of hope into the situation."
International Aid coordinated three shipments of relief supplies worth an estimated $500,000 to El Salvador in the days following the Jan. 13 quake, and plans to follow up on its relief efforts by dispatching a volunteer response team to the area in mid-March. During the course of its two week stay, the team will visit areas hardest hit in the two disasters, reconstructing health facilities and conducting medical outreach in those areas.
"We are purposely concentrating on the areas where medical care is currently not present, so that when our team does return home, they will leave behind the beginnings of a health delivery system in those areas," Enriquez says.