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ACT Alliance Alert: Volcano eruption, El Salvador

Source: ACT Alliance - Switzerland - Tue, 31 Dec 2013 09:05 AM
Author: Elisabeth Gouel
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Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

El Salvador: Volcano eruption


Geneva, 30 December 2013


1.    Brief description of the emergency and impact

Chaparratique volcano, in the eastern side of the country, erupted on December 29, emitted searing clouds of volcanic ash as high as five kilometres and clouds of ash covering four municipalities and affecting eight communities that are facing landslides risk since the rainy season this year. The ashes are affecting people’s health, crops, and wells. About 2,400 inhabitants are in formal shelters and unknown numbers of people are hosted by neighbours and relatives. There are no reports of people killed or injured. In the meantime the volcano is still in activity and the government is evacuating the communities in a radius of five kilometres around the volcano slopes, because the experts warn about the possibility of another eruption, as the volcano still has more energy to release.


2.    Why is an ACT response needed?

There are many makeshift shelters run by the communities, given the limited capacity of the government to host just 2400 people in their shelters. The ACT Forum is proposing to help the communities to improve shelters for people fleeing the heat and dust, because several hundreds of people have fled their homes for safety.


3.    National and international response

The national government has established shelters and is evacuating the communities around the volcano. A team of geologists and volcanologists are assessing the volcano activity. The government’s capacity to run the shelters could be challenged given the number of people fleeing the volcano slopes, and also in terms of sanitation, food and water, and availing mattresses.  


4.    ACT Alliance response

The Salvadorian church has a team in place, assessing the situation and establishing coordination with the government and the communities. The Forum Coordinator is gathering information from assessments in order to plan the forum response.


5.    Planned activities

The ACT forum is planning to support with community shelters.  They need extra support to properly host the continuous reception of people coming from the neighbouring communities. They are also planning to coordinate their response with government. The forum will prepare a Rapid Response Fund (RRF) application if the conditions remain at this level, but if there is a major eruption an appeal will be issued.


6.    Constraints

There are no major constraints at present.

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Any funding indication or pledge should be communicated to Jean-Daniel Birmele, Director of Finance (jbi@actalliance.org )

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