El Salvador Braces for Tropical Storm Pilar: Nationwide Emergency Declared

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By LatAm Reports Editor

Tropical Storm Pilar, now menacingly positioned just 360 kilometers off El Salvador’s coast, threatens the nation with heavy rains, powerful winds, and potential flash floods. The Ministry of Environment warns of urban floods, sudden overflows of rivers and creeks, and intense winds as the storm’s rage builds.

Reacting to Pilar’s impending danger, El Salvador’s government has initiated all disaster prevention measures and declared a nationwide state of emergency. This move followed a request from President Nayib Bukele to the Legislative Assembly. Moreover, the Ministry of Education has halted classes across all educational sectors, public, private, and higher education. The General Directorate of Civil Protection elevated the alert status to a nationwide red alert from the earlier orange alert that primarily covered the Greater San Salvador Metropolitan Area and coastal zones. Last night, at 10 p.m., the Legislative Assembly held a special plenary session to confirm the emergency status.

In preparation for potential rain-induced incidents, the Ministry of Public Works (MOP) has stationed over 3,000 personnel across the country. Romeo Rodríguez, the Public Works Minister, highlighted that this workforce adds to the teams already working on various ongoing national projects. 

Rodríguez said, “We’ve spread over 3,000 personnel across the country, excluding staff from other entities or those on existing projects. These workers will stay on-call around the clock to manage any emergencies over the next few days.”

In San Salvador, the Municipal Government has opened 17 shelters in different city districts, as confirmed by the Municipal Development Director, Manuel Rodríguez. Residents can find these shelters in community centers in locations such as Las Palmas, Asunción, Quiñonez, Granjero 1 and 2, the Katya Miranda Complex, and Saturnino Bengoa, close to the Palermo and Las Palmas communities.

All entities within the Integrated National Health System stand ready to assist the public amid the Tropical Storm Pilar emergency. The Ministry of Health (Minsal) has confirmed a well-supplied stock of medications in all healthcare facilities, ensuring readiness for any arising healthcare demands.

Health Minister Francisco Alabi asserted, “Given the weather crisis, our healthcare system operates at full capacity. President Nayib Bukele expects us to do whatever it takes to protect Salvadoran lives. Every hospital, health unit, and healthcare staff member in the Integrated Health System is primed to handle emergencies, assist in shelters, and care for pregnant women and the broader community.”