Canada Offers Condolences and Support After El Salvador Floods

(No. 342 - November 12, 2009 - 3:55 p.m. EST) The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), today offered Canada’s condolences and support to the people of El Salvador following heavy rains and consequent landslides and flooding there.

"On behalf of all Canadians, I offer condolences to the friends and family members of those who lost their lives," said Minister of State Kent. "I also extend my sympathies to all those who have been affected by the heavy rains, flooding and landslides, which have destroyed and damaged hundreds of homes, leaving families to seek emergency shelter."

The Canadian Embassy in El Salvador will provide $50,000 in assistance through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. The Government of Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency, will also provide $40,000 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to support the Salvadorean Red Cross Society. This contribution will provide immediate relief assistance to 1,500 families, including blankets, hygiene and kitchen kits.

Canadian officials in Ottawa and at the Embassy are working closely with the Salvadorean government and the international community to expedite the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the central departments of San Salvador, La Libertad, San Vicente, La Paz and Cuscatlán.

There are no reports of Canadian deaths or injuries due to the flooding. Canadian citizens in the affected areas who require emergency consular assistance should contact the Canadian Embassy in San Salvador at (503) 2279-4655. Alternatively, they may call Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s Emergency Operations Centre collect at 613-996-8885 or send an email to sos@international.gc.ca.

Friends and relatives in Canada seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be in the affected areas should also contact the Emergency Operations Centre by calling 1-800-387-3124 or, for those in Ottawa, 613-943-1055. They may also send an email to the address above.

For the most up-to-date information, please consult Travel Report-El Salvador.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Eleanor Johnston
Senior Special Assistant (Communications)
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)
613-947-8981

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874