BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Americas
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

The BBC's David Willis
"Aid agencies are now focussed on those who have survived the Quake"
 real 56k

The BBC's David Willis, in Canasagua
"Search and rescue is no longer a priority"
 real 56k

Donald Chaikin, Head of Logistics, Oxfam
"We do know what we need to send in this kind of situation"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 17 January, 2001, 03:24 GMT
Hunger stalks quake victims
Family receives US aid
International aid is flowing into the country
A senior United Nations official in El Salvador has told the BBC that an estimated 15,000 people are in urgent need of food aid following Saturday's massive earthquake.

Earthquake aftermath
20,000 people evacuated
45,000 homes destroyed/damaged
Major roads blocked
The Central American director of the UN's World Food Programme, Roque Castro, said there were sufficient supplies of emergency food for the next 15 days, but that the hilly terrain was making it difficult for relief teams to assess the needs of people in remote areas.

His comments follow the Pan-American Health Organisation's warning that as many as half of the country's six million people are without water supplies.

Rescuers carry away the body of a child
Little prospect of finding any more people alive in the rubble
More than 650 people are known to have died, while hundreds of others are missing.

The dead are being buried as quickly as possible, often in mass graves, to prevent the spread of disease.

Mr Castro said the damage was far worse than that caused by Hurricane Mitch two years ago, and that reconstruction efforts would take months.

The quake left more than 45,000 homes destroyed or damaged and major roads blocked.

About 20,000 people have been evacuated from areas at risk from further landslides caused by the continuous aftershocks.

El Salvador map
With little prospect of finding any more people alive in the rubble of collapsed buildings, the authorities have switched their attention from rescue to relief.

International aid is flowing into the country, while the El Salvadorean army has been mobilised to distribute food, tents and blankets to the homeless.

President Flores has thanked the international community for its help in mounting a massive relief operation.

Saturday's earthquake also hit Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

The last major earthquake in El Salvador was in 1986 when 1,400 people died.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
See also:

16 Jan 01 | Americas
Tremors hinder quake relief
15 Jan 01 | Americas
International aid for quake victims
22 Sep 99 | World
Deadly history of earthquakes
Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories