Red Cross appeal seeks 1.1 million Swiss francs for El Salvador earthquake

Published: 14 January 2001

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies today launched a preliminary appeal for Swiss francs 1,112,000 to provide assistance to survivors of the earthquake (7.9 on the Richter Scale) which struck El Salvador and other parts of Central America on Saturday.

The Salvadorean Red Cross Society activated its emergency contingency plan immediately after the event. Search and rescue teams consisting of 200 first aiders and relief workers are operating in the most heavily affected areas supported by over 1,000 volunteers.

Pending the results of a more thorough damage and needs assessment, this preliminary emergency appeal is being launched in response to the following needs: search and rescue; emergency shelter materials and food; health and water/sanitation; and on-going assessments. The official death toll stands at 210 but this is expected to rise as 1,200 people are still unaccounted for.

The Red Cross is concentrating on the worst-affected departments In El Salvador: San Miguel, Santa Ana, La Libertad, La Paz and San Salvador. However, assessment of damage and needs are also on-going in Guatemala where the earthquake measured 5.8 on the Richter Scale.

Both American Red Cross and Spanish Red Cross have already released pre-positioned relief supplies such as blankets, plastic sheets, comfort kits and water containers. All National Societies in the region are offering support. The British, French, Danish, Netherlands and Norwegian Red Cross are also mobilising assistance.For further information, or to set up interviews, please contact:

Denis McClean, Head of Media Service,
Geneva Tel.: +41 22 730 4428
Mobile : +41 79 217 3357

Christopher Black, Press Officer Media Service,
Geneva Tel.: +41 22 730 4377

Media Service duty officer Tel: +41 79 416 3881