Basic needs are primary in damaged communities
15 February 2001
MSF is continuing its intervention in the three zones primarily affected by the recent earthquake in El Salvador. This is the second major earthquake in the country within one month. Initial assessments have provided MSF with an overall view of the situation in the country but now teams able to visit the region, have been returning specific information regarding the scope of damage and the needs for the local population. Food and water are a constant requirement in all the affected villages. The scope of damage of this earthquake appears to be as serious as the preceding one just one month ago. As the epicentre of the quake is different, there is a completely new scope of destruction of homes, buildings and infrastructures. Despite the severity of damage, people are not leaving their homes, often preferring to visit the camps for the displaced long enough to receive services before returning to their homes. Communications and transport, already compromised in the last quake, has deteriorated further making the simplest of tasks more difficult. Most of the hospitals lack of medicines material and medicine equipment. And shelter and water and sanitation remain the primary needs. It is evident that there is less presence of international aid than there was for the first earthquake, although the event has hit and affected as much or even more people than the first quake. An MSF team from Nicaragua arrived February 14 (two doctors, one psychologist, and two log-WatSan). Another team of three logisticians-watsan staff arrived from Guatemala with a car. A doctor and a nurse from Colombia are expected in the next two days. MSF Activities:
MSF is continuing with a deeper assessment of both the damage and needs.
Distribution of medicine and medical equipment, as well as blankets.
Collecting epidemiological data - often difficult to obtain as it is
not readily available.
Installation of tents