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US Forest Service Plays Vital Role in El Salvador Earthquake Response Effort

Disaster Assistance Support Program
 
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On January 13, El Salvador experienced a serious earthquake, measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale. Since the initial earthquake, over 500 tremors radiated from the epicenter, located 65 miles southwest of San Miguel. There was extensive damage throughout the nation with the death toll exceeding 680, thousands injured and thousands displaced by the destruction of their houses and communities.

Three employees of USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) were in the capital, San Salvador, at the time of the earthquake. They were able to provide immediate assistance, working alongside the El Salvadoran Red Cross, COEN, the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador, and the USAID mission office to begin ascertaining the extent of damage and humanitarian needs and to coordinate assistance.

US Forest Service International Programs' Disasters Assistance Support Program (DASP), which operates closely with OFDA, lent its support to the response. DASP Disaster Management Specialist, Larry Bryant, worked with OFDA's El Salvador Earthquake Response Management Team as the Communication and Records Coordinator. Bryant tracked, documented, and archived all internal and external communications and correspondence related to OFDA's response to this disaster. Bill Laspina, on detail with DASP from the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, ID, assisted OFDA's Logistics Unit in procuring and transporting relief supplies.

For additional information about the relief effort in El Salvador, please refer to the OFDA web site and the Natural Disasters section of ReliefWeb.


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