Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Tropical Storm Amanda Kills 14 in El Salvador, Forces 4,200 to Evacuate

Climate
A man observes the damages caused to his neighborhood from Tropical Storm Amanda on May 31, 2020 in San Salvador, El Salvador. Guillermo Martínez / APHOTOGRAFIA / Getty Images

At least 14 people were killed when Tropical Storm Amanda walloped El Salvador Sunday, Interior Minister Mario Duran said.


Four people are missing, according to Noticias El Salvador, and around 200 homes were damaged by falling trees, flooding and mudslides, AFP reported.

"We lost everything, we've been left with nowhere to live," San Salvador resident Isidro Gomez, whose home was destroyed when a river overflowed its banks, told AFP.

San Salvador, the nation's capital, saw half of the nation's total fatalities, its Mayor Ernesto Muyshondt said. He said the storm had forced 4,200 people into government shelters in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are experiencing an unprecedented situation: one top-level emergency on top of another serious one," he told AFP, referring to the pandemic.

The government of El Salvador has reported a total of 2,582 coronavirus cases. Forty-six people have died, and 1,063 have recovered.

Amanda strengthened into a tropical storm before making landfall Sunday, making it the first named storm of the East Pacific 2020 hurricane season, AccuWeather reported. It later weakened into a tropical depression and then a tropical rainstorm, but forecasters say its heavy rainfall still poses a major risk to Central America early this week.

Because of its heavy rainfall, it was forecast to be a 1 on the AccuWeather RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes.

"Heavy rainfall will be the greatest threat over Central America, particularly in the higher terrain or Guatemala and El Salvador where rainfall totals of 18-24 inches are possible," AccuWeather senior meteorologist Randy Adkins said.

In El Salvador, that rainfall has already turned deadly in the form of floods and landslides. One person drowned in a flooding river, while another was crushed by a collapsing wall, Reuters reported. An eight-year-old boy was killed when his house collapsed.

"We've seen people asking for help, asking for the government. We haven't deployed everywhere, the situation is overwhelming," Duran said Sunday, as Reuters reported.

The storm is estimated to have caused $200 million in damage to El Salvador, President Nayib Bukele said, according to AFP. He declared a 15-day state of emergency to recover from the storm.

Amanda weakened as it passed on to Guatemala, where it caused flooding and at least five landslides that blocked roads. However, no one had to be evacuated.

The climate crisis is making hurricanes wetter and extreme precipitation events more likely. A storm does not have to be a hurricane to cause damage. In 2019, Tropical Storm Imelda swamped Houston with a 1-in-1,000-year flood event just two years after Hurricane Harvey did the same.

Correction: This piece has been updated to clarify that all the deaths reported by Reuters took place in El Salvador.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Japan Self-Defense Forces and police officers join rescue operations at a nursing home following heavy rain in Kuma village, Kumamoto prefecture on July 5, 2020. STR / JIJI PRESS / AFP / Getty Images

Scores of people remained stranded in southern Japan on Sunday after heavy rain the day before caused deep flooding and mudslides that left at least 34 people confirmed or presumed dead.

Read More Show Less

Members of the Pipeline Compliance Surveillance Initiative hiked into the George Washington National Forest to document tree felling for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Ben Cunningham / YouTube

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), which would have carried fracked natural gas through 600 miles of West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, will never be completed.

Read More Show Less
Activists of Greenpeace and Fridays For Future demonstrate on a canal in front of the cooling tower of the coal-fired power plant Datteln 4 of power supplier Uniper in Datteln, western Germany, on May 20. INA FASSBENDER / AFP / Getty Images

The Bundestag and Bundesrat — Germany's lower and upper houses of parliament — passed legislation on Friday that would phase out coal use in the country in less than two decades as part of a road map to reduce carbon emissions.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Tara Lohan

Would you like to take a crack at solving climate change? Or at least creating a road map of how we could do it?

Read More Show Less
Climate campaigners and Indigenous peoples across Canada have spent the past several years protesting the Trans Mountain pipeline. Mark Klotz / Flickr / cc

By Elana Sulakshana

Rainforest Action Network recently uncovered a document that lists the 11 companies that are currently insuring the controversial Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline in Canada. These global insurance giants are providing more than USD$500 million in coverage for the massive risks of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, and they're also lined up to cover the expansion project.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Leah Campbell

After several months of stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many households are beginning to experience family burnout from spending so much time together.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Food Tank

By Danielle Nierenberg and Alonso Diaz

With record high unemployment, a reeling global economy, and concerns of food shortages, the world as we know it is changing. But even as these shifts expose inequities in the health and food systems, many experts hope that the current moment offers an opportunity to build a new and more sustainable food system.

Read More Show Less