El Salvador floods: TSF's support to local relief teams


TSF mission (October 18th – October 25th, 2011)


From 18th to 25th October 2011, a TSF team was deployed in El Salvador in response to the floods. The whole pacific coastal zone of the country has been affected by constant rains. The departments most impacted were Ahuachapán and Usulután. United Nations System in El Salvador estimates that 300,000 people have been affected, 35 have died, 59,854 have been evacuated, and 54,903 have taken refuge in 611 shelters.


The aim of TSF mission was to assist the Civil Protection local teams with satellite data and voice equipment for field evaluations and speedy information-sharing at a national level. The previous visit to the country in 2009 served to establish contacts with local authorities and the Civil Protection Unit. Thus, before this new deployment, TSF was known to local emergency responders and authorities and this helped to coordinate the service with national teams. TSF was able to establish a rapid contact with OCHA and the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department of the European Commission and shared useful information with all the key actors in the field.


TSF experts supported the Civil Protection departmental units in Ahuachapán (in the municipalities of Atiquizaya, Cara Sucia and Garita Palmera) and Usulután (in the municipalities of San Agustín, Santa Elena and Jiquilisco), keeping them connected during their missions by enabling data to be gathered and sent from the field. TSF specialists offered email and Internet access, and provided laptops and phones to the Civil Protection teams.


Final beneficiaries were thus the National Civil Protection, the Departmental Civil Protection in Ahuachapán and Usulután, the Health ministry, the Education Ministry and the Salvadorian Institute for Woman Development from Usulután. The efficient coordination with local authorities made the mission successful by enabling the TSF team to identify the most affected departments and telecoms issues so as to act efficiently.


“Thank you very much for your help. Now we have all the office connected to the internet. We are now able to send information directly from the field; before we had to wait until we returned to the office. It is very important, since the headquarters need the data by 6:00 pm and we return to the office very late in the evening” says Maximino Hernández, Delegate of the Civil Protection in Usulutan.


“We are very grateful to be able to count on your support on the ground, since we knew that wherever we are deployed, we need to be able to communicate with other emergency responders. During previous interventions we went to places where we were completely isolated, which would have made it impossible to communicate had something unforeseen occurred” says Angel Turcios, Delegate of the Civil Protection in Ahuachapan.


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 TSF-19-10-11-Civil Protection