Preliminary estimates by local insurers have calculated insured losses from the earthquake in El Salvador at between $200 million and $400 million. Reinsurance with foreign carriers will cover about 90 percent of those losses, between $180 and $360 million.
While high, the figures show that in comparison to some recent disasters in Central America, notably earthquakes in Guatemala and Nicaragua that killed thousands, the loss of life and the damages suffered were remarkably light.
The Las Colinas suburb of the capital, San Salvador, which was buried by a landslide, suffered the heaviest damage. But the offshore quake also caused losses throughout the country, affecting supermarkets, factories and other commercial property which was insured.
Local authorities cited stricter building codes and stepped up enforcement of architectural and structural standards as the principal factors which limited the loss of life and the damages.
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