Agatha 6-3-10 – San Antonio Palopo

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Went to San Antonio today with K to view the destruction and discuss with the Muni different possibilities for relief. We met C once again at the docks of Santa Catarina. Juan from San Antonio brought the municipal boat from San Antonio and told us that if we should need it more to bring in supplies or personnel that we need only ask. We then made our way into San Antonio and were immediately directed to the municipal building. They were expecting us at the Municipal building and had a delegation of everyone excluding the Mayor to inform us of the situation in San Antonio. They said that the Municipality of San Antonio and Santa Caterina are both working together to gather supplies and distribute them to the population accordingly however that due to the roads being cut off to San Antonio the population can only receive supplies via boat. They also expressed concern and had already printed up a report for the following information:

19 People dead
43 houses destroyed
100 houses severely damaged
2 People missing
4 people hospitalized
2 injured not put in hospitalized
500 people evacuated to 6 shelters (Municipal building, municipal market, 4 churches)
40 houses partially destroyed
4 bridges destroyed in the highway
water purification system for 25 km destroyed
lots of pavement destroyed
lots of walls destroyed

Also they provided information to surrounding aldeas in the Municipality of San Antonio

Agua Escondida

15 houses destroyed
15 houses partially destroyed
3 families without food
5 families without latrines
40 families at risk
paved streets partially destroyed
8 collapsed alleys
Water purification system destroyed for 24 km
300 families with crop damage

Canton San Gabriel

house partially destroyed
Water Purification system for 24 km
crop damage for corn beans and coffee

Canton El Naranjo

3 houses collapsed
Water Purification system for 24 km
crop damage for corn beans and coffee

Tzancorral

60 bundles of corn lost
400 bundles of beans lost
75 bundles of coffee lost
20 bundles of flowers lost
water filtration system for 3.5 km
destroyed streets
electricity partially lost

Xequistel

15 people affected
2 houses destroyed
street destroyed
corn bean and potato crops destroyed
Portable water system for 18 km

Chuisajcap

Portable water system for 15 km
neighborhood streets destroyed

Chuiquistel

Partially destroyed street

Chipop

15 houses at high risk
water purification system for 17 km
2 houses destroyed
areas at high risk above the highway
streets destroyed by collapse

Ojo de Agua

2 houses destroyed
Water Purification system for 15 km
bean corn and onion crops destroyed
football field destroyed

San Jose Xequinabaj

5 houses destroyed
streets destroyed
purified water system 4 km
2 wells buried

Chitulul

Purified water system destroyed for 4 km
destroyed streets
2 houses partially destroyed

Tzampetey

Destroyed street
no potable water system
corn beans and coffee destroyed

Pataj

2 houses partially destroyed
crops and streets destroyed

After discussing each of these problems with the Muni we asked about several factors of what they would need in their communities. The first and foremost problem was that of potable water in the entire area. They have been taking some tanks of water up to a chlorination facility in Los Encuentros and have tried to ship water in but it is in such small amounts that it is ineffective. They said that they already have cases of water borne illness and while they have available doctors and nurses in the town they have no medications to treat the patients and not enough purified water to treat the illness. The water filtration system is showing to be the most important implementation across the board around the lake and should be looked at as the number one priority for our services.

The Muni also expressed concerns over several issues. One was the lack of trash services resulting in a buildup of human waste from diapers and other forms of trash that could bring a health concern very soon. The other over food. As of right now they have limited rations due to the lack of transportability, only enough for 1500 meals currently in the schools and some families are lacking adequate food supplies even with the current relief. Also they do not have adequate facilities for cooking with a need for gas stoves and propane to supply them.

I investigated further into their medical needs they stated that they do have doctors available but they said what they needed most was psychological help for their community. They said that the majority of the population is suffering from susto and post traumatic stress disorder and needed immediate counseling to improve the morale and productivity of the community. If we are able we should try to bring down some counseling services for the community and build community support groups for survivors to help them through the reconstruction of their towns. They also stated that while they have received clothing donations that a lot of the women do not accept the donations because they are not traje and cannot wear them. Possibly talking to some of the weaving cooperatives in unaffected areas about restoring some of these items would be an improvement for the indigenous in San Antonio. Currently there are only a few groups doing a little to help the municipality in the relief effort: C, E, and L but there are no other groups bringing in relief of food or purified water. After this they took us to the side where a single landslide had killed 19 people just past the municipal building. Water from the river had removed the earth below some supporting structures after the river had overflowed causing a massive landslide that destroyed 35 houses in one area. This destruction was overwhelming and there were only two community members available to work on removing the debris and search for the two missing persons. We took many pictures and video to try and represent this damage but nothing can compare to seeing it firsthand. As soon as I receive log in information regarding the picassa album I will upload the pictures from today. K will later edit and upload video from the meeting with the muni and various interviews with B. Tomorrow we will go to Solola to view damages.