A road outside of San Salvador isturned to mud by torrential rains and has become impassible. Credit: ACT/Thomas Ekelund

Due to heavy rains over the past week countries from southern Mexico to Costa Rica have been flooded. The hardest hit countries have been Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. Of greatest concern at this point are safety and access. With so much rain many have had to leave there homes, upwards of 700,000, yet with flooded roads being impassible there is little access to movement. This has made getting aid to people a major concern. And throughout the region there are many areas prone to mudslides, which have already led to over 90 deaths. Another concern is that crops that are just getting ready to be harvested will be lost in the flooding. This will lead to a double tragedy with an immediate food shortage and a lack of seed for next year’s crop.

The ELCA, through its Internatial Disaster Program, is staying in contact with our companion churches in the region and the Lutheran World Federation to assess the situation and possible responses. The ELCA already has funds positioned in Guatemala(~$20,000) and has released funds for Nicaragua ($3,153) that will be used to help meet the immediate needs of the region. As the situation develops we will be posting information on the ELCA Disaster webpage and here on the blog.

For an initial report from the region, see the ACT article by Thomas Ekelund Central America: death toll from torrential rains rises.