SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) _ Eva Palacios Orellana sat in a field huddled under a purple bedspread strung atop two sticks, her two children nestled at her side in what they now call home.

She is one of tens of thousands of Salvadorans homeless following last Friday's earthquake. Hundreds are known dead and about 10,000 were injured.

''I am completely abandoned,' the young woman said, brushing a strand of hair away from her dark eyes. ''I don't know where I'm going to go.''

Her 6-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son looked unconcerned. They toyed with the plastic bags filled with clothes, cooking supplies and the treasures that their mother was able to snatch from their mud and cane home shortly after it collapsed. Other makeshift tents sat nearby.

Many of the homeless know what resettlement means. Thousands have been displaced by a lingering seven-year war that has ravaged many eastern and northern parts of this nation, which is the size of Massachusetts.

Leftist rebels are attempting to oust the U.S.-supported government of President Jose Napoleon Duarte.

In a shantytown that suffered very little damage, several residents said they preferred taking chances with earthquakes than with the war.

''It's still safer here. We wouldn't even think of going back,'' said Cruz Duran, 18, who moved to San Salvador with her family two years ago from the war-torn central province of San Vicente. ''It's dangerous there and it's dangerous here. But we'll stay.''

The rebels declared a unilateral, temporary truce because of the earthquake disaster.

Shanties made of mud, adobe, cane and wood have been built up on the capital's outskirts and in dry stream beds. Hundreds of them crumbled like sand castles in Friday's quake.

Salvadorans are a resourceful, independent people, accustomed to taking care of themselves.

In a lower-class part of the capital, several hundred Salvadorans left behind the wreckage of their mud homes to move across the street onto a private lot. Just 30 hours after the quake they set up new housing using posts topped with tin roofs.

Although open on all sides and linked in a line, the huts sheltered families who set up their beds, tables and wood-burning stoves.

''We don't have any choice but to go back to where we were,'' said Ana America Molina, 50, stirring a pot of steaming red beans. ''We brought what we could and we will just go on here for a while.''

Laundry hung on a barbed wire fence, drying under the sweltering sun. Young women toted plastic water jugs atop their heads. Children laughed with their playmates.

Concepcion Aguilar, 32, said her mother still was shaken by the quake, which destroyed portions of the capital city and left others untouched. In many cases severely damaged homes stood next to those untouched.

''She and my daughter were trapped and screaming,'' she said. ''Everyone was trying to pull family members out.''

She and her neighbors said it was too soon to say what would happen to them. Most figured they'd pull out of it and start over again. ''We know it will work out,'' Ms. Aguilar said. ''We need God's help.''

It was the shantytowns and the central business district that were hardest hit by the disaster. The affluent residential areas for the most part escaped damage.

Monsignor Arturo Rivera Damas, the Roman Catholic archbishop of San Salvador, noted in his Sunday homily that the poor were feeling the effects of the disaster the most.

He said most of the dead, ''except for those buried in the collapse of multi-story buildings, are from humble homes, poor neighborhoods and working class schools.''