Tropical Storm Selma reached El Salvador Friday with winds of up to 65 km per hour and heavy rains affecting mainly the center area of the nation, according to a report from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.
Authorities had foreseen that Selma would strike Salvadorean territory on Saturday and only in the west of the country, but the ministry said that "it has entered the paracentral zone."
The Civil Protection Directive issued an orange alert in eight departments and a yellow alert in the rest of the country. The government said the strongest rains are expected for Saturday and calmer conditions are expected Sunday as the rain lessens and colder weather is expected.
The departments with orange alert are Santa Ana, Ahuachapan, Sonsonate, La Libertad, San Salvador, La Paz, San Vicente and Usulutan; and the departments with yellow alert are Chalatenango, Cuscatlan, Cabanas, San Miguel, Morazan and La Union.
Environment Minister Linares Pohl said Selma was generated on Friday morning in the Pacific ocean and is described by authorities as a rapid storm, with a possibility that it could change trajectory and head north.
Due to the conditions, the ministry of education suspended classes for Monday, Oct. 30, across the country.
Authorities said this measure was taken to prevent possible damages by rains in schools, as there could be possible overflows in rivers and streams. It is up to higher education institutions to continue or suspend classes, the ministry added.
The director of the Meteorological Center Celina Kattan said they expect the tropical storm to move to the coastal area of the west of the country.