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Tropical Cyclone Amanda - May 2020

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Pacific Tropical Storm Amanda struck El Salvador and Guatemala on 30 May, unleashing flooding and landslides. In El Salvador, 15 people have been killed and 18,622 families have been affected. Thousands have lost their houses, seeking refuge in shelters that have been habilitated for the occasion. The President has declared a 15 days long State of Emergency to deal with the impact of the storm. 2,500 food packages have been delivered to those affected and USD 2 million have been mobilized to assist 1,200 people sheltered around the country. In Guatemala, 44,086 people have been affected, 308 people have lost their houses, 589 people had been evacuated, 72 people are sheltered. National authorities in Guatemala and CONRED are giving assistance to affected people. Evacuations of affected population are aggravating the already difficult shelter situation across the region, with no adequate access to hygiene and sanitation facilities and no prevention measures in place to mitigate COVID-19 spread. The remnants of eastern Pacific Tropical Storm Amanda is forecast to move north-westward over the southeastern portion of the Bay of Campeche and a new tropical depression is likely to form within the next days. Heavy rain is likely to continue over portions of southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, and west Honduras during the next few days. (ECHO, 2 Jun 2020)

After the passage of Tropical Storm AMANDA on 30-31 May, the number of fatalities has increased to at least 23 people, of which 16 in El Salvador, 5 in Honduras, and 2 in Guatemala. The total amount of those affected in the aforementioned countries are approximately 150,000. Humanitarian assistance has been delivered to the local population, and the affected countries continue to face the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as by the start of the rainy season in Central America. (ECHO, 3 Jun 2020)

El Salvador: The Ministry of Foreign affairs requested international assistance, as Amanda and Cristobal affected 29,968 families, roughly some 150,000 people, mostly in the departments of La Libertad, Santa Ana, San Miguel and San Salvador.
Guatemala: Amanda and Cristobal caused excessive rainfall and high winds that left flooding and landslides around eastern and central-north Guatemala. The National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) reports that the storms collectively affected more than 394,000 people as of 4 June, rendering 881 people homeless while also causing two deaths. The storms damaged 880 homes and placed another 967 at risk. CONRED continues to lead the response, but with Guatemala’s mountainous terrain, there are still risks of extra flooding and land movement due to soil saturation.
Honduras: Amanda and Cristobal affected 249 families and led to five deaths in Honduras, according to the Permanent Commission for Contingencies (COPECO), who remains concerned with soil saturation increasing the risk of landslides and collapses. (OCHA, 8 Jun 2020)

Tropical Depression / Storm Amanda has left over 119,000 people affected across El Salvador. Non-food items, food assistance, safe water, sanitation and hygiene items and services, as well as psychosocial support, remain critical for affected families, particularly for over 8,000 people in shelters. Through UNICEF-supported actions, 500 people in shelters have benefited from non-food items and critical supplies, water tanks have been installed benefiting 388 families, 15 shelters have received cleaning and sanitation supplies and 20,000 surgery masks have been distributed to the Ministry of Health for the prevention and control of COVID-19 in shelters. UNICEF El Salvador estimates that US$2,2 million will be required to provide critical support in WASH, shelter and child protection sectors, targeting over 35,000 people in shelters and affected communities. (UNICEF, 10 Jun 2020)