Caritas-Salvador Helping Nation to Cope

But 2nd Quake Wreaks New Havoc

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SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, FEB. 14, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The same day another earthquake rocked El Salvador, a Catholic charitable group reported that it had already helped 72,000 of 112,000 families affected by last month´s deadly tremor.



Caritas-El Salvador has been able to offer basic, emergency assistance in most cases; the reconstruction of homes remains to be addressed.

Desolation and uncertainty reigned over the Salvadoran population today as it struggled to overcome damage from the second destructive quakes in one month. Tuesday´s quake left 237 people dead, officials said. CNN reported 1,557 people injured.

The 6.1 quake destroyed or damaged thousands of homes in the regions of San Vicente, Cuscatlan and La Paz, in the central region of the country, where most of the dead and injured lived.

Like Jan. 13´s quake, which left 827 people dead, 4,500 injured, and more than 1 million affected, Tuesday´s tremor primarily affected the poorest. Entire villages dedicated to agriculture and small businesses were in ruins.

Caritas-El Salvador said that to "satisfy all the demands for help is an impossible task," although "the Church is making every effort to reach the most helpless."

Salvadorans are pitching in to help their countrymen. Caritas-El Salvador said that the inhabitants of Las Minas canton and Los Calles settlement in Chalatenango approached the local Caritas to offer help to those who lost their homes. They made 30 homes and 17 lots of land for cultivation available to those affected.

Caritas-Santiago de Maria reported that it has been able to attend to the basic needs of 4,773 of the 17,978 affected families in its territory.

Caritas-Santa Ana reported that is has helped 4,654 of 10,000 affected families. In San Vicente, Caritas has helped 2,376 families. In the Diocese of San Miguel, the local Caritas help 2,643 of the 9,185 families affected.

The Archdiocesan Caritas of San Salvador has given emergency assistance to 35,000 families. Caritas-Zacatecoluca reported 34,277 affected families, with 7,430 having received aid. Caritas-Sonsonate reported that, of the 14,2898 families affected by the quake, it has helped 10,746.

The Caritas international network has channeled more than $1 million to Caritas-El Salvador. In addition, Caritas-Spain organized a popular appeal, which to date has collected $7 million.