800,000 affected as storms sweep through Central America

THOUSANDS of families across Central America are bracing themselves for a fresh onslaught as storms batter the region, reports Plan International.

Weeks of heavy rain across El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have wrecked roads, homes and schools.

And Tropical Storm Rina is circling the Caribbean bringing fresh downpours with the northeast coast of Honduras in its sights.

“Incessant rain over the territory of Guatemala since six days ago intensified the bad situation of families and communities nationwide in the last 24 hours,” reports Plan Guatemala’s country director, Debora Cobar.

More than 800,000 have been affected by flooding and landslides with schools closed and used as shelters in many areas.

Plan has launched an appeal to help 75,000 people still in shelters across the three countries.

“We’ve defined our work with the National State University, specifically with the School of Psychology to coordinate the attention to children and their families in 55 different shelters nationwide,” says Ms Cobar.

More than 12,300 people have been reached by the charity so far, including 2,500 children.

Plan’s aid workers are providing psychosocial support, school activities and recreational kits to boost children’s morale, as well as medicine, water and food supplies.

The charity aims to scale-up its support to the affected areas and will continue to coordinate with local government.

“Recovery programmes are also being planned for the next three to six months to help families rebuild their lives,” says Ms Cobar.

For more information on Plan’s work or to make a donation call 0800 526 848 or visit http://www.plan-uk.org

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