Presidents Say Regional Disaster Plan Needed

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador-Central American leaders need to put together a plan to deal with common disasters like the recent earthquake that shook much of the region, the presidents of Costa Rica and El Salvador said Tuesday.

El Salvador’s president, Francisco Flores, said such a plan would unite Central American countries, helping them find ways to protect themselves.

“This emergency system is part of Central America’s conscience, and today we have the opportunity to make it stronger,” Flores said.

Flores added that the plan could help countries develop restrictions prohibiting construction in high-risk zones, a problem that exists in all Central American countries, especially among the poor.

A magnitude-7.6 earthquake that struck on Jan. 13 was felt across Central America. It killed 726 people in El Salvador and at least six in Guatemala.

The earthquake was one of several recent regional disasters.