Caritas Aiding Those Who Fled Volcano

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 4, 2005 ( Caritas-El Salvador is keeping its mother organization abreast of the devastation caused by Saturday’s eruption of the Llamatepec volcano, the country’s largest volcano.

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Reports confirm at least two deaths as well as the evacuation of thousands of people after the crater, 40 miles west of the capital, San Salvador, spit out hot lava rock and toxic gases.

According to Caritas-El Salvador, the situation has been made worse by heavy rains, which caused the Lempa and Jiboa rivers to burst their banks and flood the lower Lempa, forcing more evacuations.

The diocesan Caritas in Santa Ana and Sonsonate set up teams to respond to the emergency needs.

In Sonsonate, clergy and representatives from the parish met to assess damages and to assist those who «left with only what they were wearing,» explained Father Walter Guerra, Caritas emergency coordinator. Caritas-Sonsonate is aiding 350 families in shelters in the hard-hit parishes of San Isidro, Sonzacate, Sensunapan and Juayua.

The diocesan Caritas in Santa Ana assisted in evacuating small hamlets near the volcano and is working to provide food and non-food relief to nearly 600 people in six shelters. Adults and children there need clothing, mattresses, blankets, prepared food, and hygiene kits.

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