SAN SALVADOR – The damage caused by weather battering El Salvador since the weekend forced the government on Tuesday to allow the revival of the construction industry, closed amid the coronavirus epidemic, while the country awaits tropical storm Cristobal.
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele reported on his Twitter account that “the reactivation of the entire construction sector will be allowed, but only for repairs and mitigations,” not for “extension” jobs.
“Protocols to stop contagion among workers will have to be applied,” the president said, adding that the decree with the authorization “will be published in a few hours.”
Tropical storm Amanda left at least 16 people dead, seven missing, 24,873 families affected and 7,886 in shelters, with total damages yet to be assessed.
As EFE could verify, the rains in the early hours of Tuesday continued to cause damage across the country.
Mud and rock slides were recorded in the municipalities of San Marcos, San Salvador and Quezaltpeque, while families from the capital were evacuated and taken to shelters.
President Bukele said Monday night that at least 1,000 homes were damaged.
Tropical storm Cristobal, the third of the Atlantic hurricane season, formed on Tuesday near Campeche Bay in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the United States National Hurricane Center.
The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources indicated that the rains will generate the “fall of trees and billboards of different dimensions, blocking access roads due to humidity in the soil, in coastal municipalities and adjacent to the volcanic strip.”
The United States government donated $120,000 after tropical storm Amanda hit El Salvador, of which $20,000 is destined for the mayor of San Salvador and the rest for Civil Protection, which will be distributed by Save the Children.
In addition to displaying the country’s vulnerability to weather phenomena once again, Amanda forced authorities to divide their efforts between COVID-19 epidemic and the heavy rains.
Medical College President Milton Brizuela recently told EFE that “the need of the population for income and food may cause this confinement to be broken up in a disorderly way and that may cause a new outbreak or an increase in cases that exceeds our precarious health system.”
El Salvador has recorded 2,653 confirmed cases of coronavirus, of which 1,491 are active, 1,116 recovered and 1,482 patients are suspected of infection.