El Salvador: 30 Adventists Die in Mudslides
More  than 300 Adventist families have been displaced by the storms. 
BY LIBNA STEVENS, Inter-America Division
ozens of Seventh-day Adventists are dead after flooding and mudslides destroyed roads and bridges and buried homes in El Salvador in early November.
[Photo: ADRA El Salvador]
The disaster caused more than 170 deaths in the country, including more than 30 Adventists. Sixteen church members are still missing.
“In all the years that I’ve been associated with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in disaster response, I have never seen such a heavy loss among our church members in Inter-America,” said Wally Amundson, ADRA director for the church in Inter-America. “We are saddened by how this is impacting the members of our church in El Salvador and pray our leaders will have the endurance to face the immediate challenges.”
ADRA is responding to the affected municipalities of San Salvador, La Libertad, La Paz, San Vicente, and Cuscatlán. More than 40,000 people have been affected, and thousands of displaced families are scattered among 85 emergency shelters, said Jorge Salazar, ADRA director for El Salvador.
Most of the deaths occurred in the central rural part of the country. More than 100 ADRA volunteers are assisting the community, as well as rescue teams, Salazar said. The government has also offered three helicopters to deliver ADRA supplies.
In addition to the funds released by ADRA and the church in Inter-America to assist the disaster relief effort, Hope for Humanity has sent special funds to assist affected communities and the general public surrounding the literacy circle program.
[Photo: ADRA El Salvador]
Some 345 Adventist families were displaced by the storm; 206 of their homes were damaged; and four church buildings were also destroyed.
Treasurer for the church in the Mid-Central America region Saul Ortiz said one church member lost 15 family members.
“It will be some time before we can rebuild these churches and families can return to their communities,” Ortiz said.
Church leaders for the region are providing special funds to affected Adventist families who will need to relocate soon. In the meantime, members whose home church was destroyed will meet in small group settings for worship, Ortiz said.
In related news, another early-November landslide claimed the lives of more than two dozen Adventists in northern Tanzania. Four days of heavy rain triggered the slide, which killed 24 members of one family. Several people are still believed to be missing.


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