Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

Monitoring Emergencies

From official sources (O.S.) and media (M). It does not represent PAHO's official position.

Colombia 7/22/2014

Bolivar Department. Gale causes damage to 293 homes in five municipalities, in schools and public buildings, and temporary cuts in electric service. Municipal authorities of Zambrano will provide shelter to those affected. (m.: El Universal).

Ecuador 7/22/2014

Sucumbíos Province. Lago Agrio Municipality. Oil spill affects at least eight families of the Kichwa Sinchiurco indigenous community; water deposits and roofs of homes have been contaminated. (m.: El Universo).

Honduras 7/22/2014

Drought. A humanitarian assistance plan and agricultural support will start on 1 August for 72,000 families affected by the drought in 64 municipalities, in ten departments. Support from WFP and FAO. (o.s.: COPECO; m.: El Heraldo)

Peru 7/22/2014

Ubinas Volcano. Increased seismic activity. An explosion was registered early Monday, forming columns 4,500 meters above the peak of the volcano; ash has fallen in eight towns surrounding the volcanoes. Families evacuated from Querapi have been relocated to Pampas de Jaguay (o.s.:INDECI ; m.: Andina).

Venezuela 7/22/2014

Portuguesa State. Papelón, Sucre, and Guanare municipalities. Floods cause one death and affect 1,021 families; Papelón has suffered the brunt of the damage. State response, mobilization of health teams, increased epidemiological monitoring. (m.: Noticia al Día, Venezolana de TV, El Nacional).

Colombia 7/22/2014

Bolivar Department. Gale causes damage to 293 homes in five municipalities, in schools and public buildings, and temporary cuts in electric service. Municipal authorities of Zambrano will provide shelter to those affected. (m.: El Universal).

6.9 Earthquake in Mexico / Guatemala

A strong 6.9 magnitude earthquake at 37 km depth shook the Mexican border with Guatemala on Monday morning (7/7/2014), causing three deaths and 21 injured, damaging buildings in both countries. The quake was felt across a broad swath of southern Mexico and Guatemala. After the earthquake, monitoring protocols and verification of damage were activated in affected regions in both countries. In Guatemala, Orange Alert Institutional was declared and in Chiapas (Mexico) was activated the State Emergency Committee. The wounded were treated at hospitals without exceeding the attention capacity.


Floods in Paraguay Leave Thousands Displaced

Paraguay - junio 2014For the last four months Paraguay has been affected by heavy rains that have produced high tides in at least eight departments, and in the capital, Asuncion, due to the overflowing of the Parana and Paraguay rivers, among others. The floods have been slow-onset; therefore, it has been possible to evacuate populations on time. However, more than 30,000 families (about 160,000 people) have been affected, and many of them have been evacuated to the 91 shelters established, or are staying with relatives or friends.

NEW! PAHO/WHO receives U.N. emergency funds to restore water and sanitation in flooded areas of Paraguay



Boosting National Efforts to Protect Health Services in Disasters

The Fourth Session of the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction of the Americas (RP14) recognized the importance of having and promoting national initiatives on safe hospitals and the need to protect essential services, particularly those dedicated to providing health care and education. The RP14 was held in Guayaquil, Ecuador, from 27 - 29 May. Parallel to the Platform, PAHO’s Department of Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief hosted a meeting for Health Disaster Coordinators. In addition, prior to these activities, a Course on Rapid Response, aimed at strengthening PAHO’s Regional Response Team, was held on the 26th.


Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sector - Guide for the Coordination of Public Health Emergencies and Disasters

The purpose of this guide is to share information, knowledge and tools to strengthen coordination mechanisms in the water, sanitation and health sector, both at national and local level. It is structured in three modules: the first focuses on knowledge of the Humanitarian Reform and the establishment of sectoral groups to respond to public health emergencies and disaster situations. The second presents information regarding the operational activities in the water, sanitation and hygiene sectors and its links with other sectors. Finally, the third discloses the tools necessary to work on preparedness and response for an efficient coordination in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.


Quick Guide for Water Health Surveillance - Actions to Ensure Safe Water for the Population

Water health surveillance is a very effective public health intervention to prevent water-borne diseases. This publication presents actions that can be taken to ensure safe water for the population, through practical and simple tools that generate timely information for decision-making, and thus apply the necessary corrective measures in order to protecting the health of the population, which is the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance, the drinking water and sanitation sector governing body.

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Knowledge Center on Public Health and Disasters 



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