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.

Chile 3/26/2015

Antofagasta, Atacama, and Coquimbo: Flash flooding generated by intense rains related to a cold front that affects the northern area of the country and that causing rivers to breach their banks. Seven reported deaths and the 19 missing, nearly 500 homes affected, 35 destroyed and nearly 2000 people in shelters. Atacama is the region that has been primarily affected. According to authorities (ONEMI), the most critical areas affected in Atacama are located in Chañaral, Copiapó, Alto del Carmen and Tierra Amarilla. Damage assessment is in progress but access and communication difficulty hinders data collection. Several hospitals have reported damages and are only partially functioning. The Ministry of Health evaluates the situation of the assistance network and issues adjustments in the services network and a Sanitary Alert in Atacama and recommendations. A State of Emergency decree has been issued for the current emergency. ENFERMEPEDIA.

Ecuador 3/26/2015

  • De Los Rios Province: Areas of Babahoyo and nearby localities flooded after 8 hours of intense rain.   Areas of the center and the periphery were flooded yesterday. The Prefecture, Social Security, terrestrial terminal among others buildings were affected by the floods. (mc.: eluniverso).
  • Via Aloag-Santo Domingo (Update) Landslide site that killed 5 people is declared a cemetery.  The bodies cannot be rescued as the site is not safe.  A total are 13 fatal victims including two people in the parish Alluriquín. (m.: eluniverso).

Peru 3/26/2015

Landslide, March 24, 19:00hrs local time. Choros District, Cajamarca Department; 34 homes affected, 9 collapsed, 25 unsafe to return and 0.5km of rural road also affected.  (os.: INDECI).

Chile 3/26/2015

Antofagasta, Atacama, and Coquimbo: Flash flooding generated by intense rains related to a cold front that affects the northern area of the country and that causing rivers to breach their banks. Seven reported deaths and the 19 missing, nearly 500 homes affected, 35 destroyed and nearly 2000 people in shelters. Atacama is the region that has been primarily affected. According to authorities (ONEMI), the most critical areas affected in Atacama are located in Chañaral, Copiapó, Alto del Carmen and Tierra Amarilla. Damage assessment is in progress but access and communication difficulty hinders data collection. Several hospitals have reported damages and are only partially functioning. The Ministry of Health evaluates the situation of the assistance network and issues adjustments in the services network and a Sanitary Alert in Atacama and recommendations. A State of Emergency decree has been issued for the current emergency. ENFERMEPEDIA.



Turrialba Volcano Activity - Costa Rica

On 12 and 13 March 2015, the Turrialba Volcano started an eruption process with ash emissions, with repercussions in the vicinity of the volcano (Province of Cartago) and the central valley of Costa Rica. As a result of the winds generated at this time of year, the ashes reached the Juan Santamaria Airport and prompted its closing for approximately 24 hours.

Once the phenomenon started the National Emergency Commission and the entities of the National EOC started their activities, summoning members and developing actions aimed at emergency management and control of the situation.

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'Health at Very Center of Disaster Risk Reduction,' Say UN Agency Officials in Sendai

United Nations News Centre

15 March 2015 – The Ebola outbreak in West Africa, powerful storms in the Asia-Pacific region and ongoing conflicts in Syria and elsewhere are all stark reminders that health and stronger health system capacities must be central to the new framework for managing disaster risk currently being discussed in Sendai, Japan, senior United Nations health agency officials emphasized today.

“If we're going to come out of emergencies in good shape, we're going to have to go into them with healthier, more resilient populations,” said Dr. Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director General for Emergencies at the UN World Health Organization (WHO), briefing reporters in Sendai at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.

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Health ‘a must for HFA2’

By Andy McElroy

SENDAI, 15 March 2015 – The Mayor of Christchurch today said that inclusion of health “is an absolute minimum requirement” for the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.

Mayor Ms. Lianne Dalziel told the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction that greater health resilience shortens the response to, and recovery from, disaster.

“My experience in Christchurch (earthquakes in 2010 and 2011) means I can sit here as a Mayor – among a panel of health experts – and say that health is an absolute minimum requirement for any disaster risk management framework,” Mayor Dalziel said.

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Caribbean Health Services Resilient to Emergencies and Disasters

Caribbean countries are particularly vulnerable to the impact of natural hazards and damage to hospitals feature highly among losses reported. Functional collapse is the main cause of hospitals being out of service after a disaster; only a small percentage of them are out of service exclusively due to structural damage. The major reason for the collapse of health infrastructure and corresponding deaths was due to the fact that hospitals are constructed without taking into account natural hazards, and that systems progressively deteriorate due to lack of maintenance over time.
 

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Earthquake in Los Santos, Department of Santander, Colombia

A 6.6-magnitude earthquake (Richter scale) shook Colombia the afternoon of 10 March 2015. The epicenter was located 7.4 km from the municipality of Los Santos, department of Santander, with a depth of 161 km. Four municipalities in eight departments have reported some type of damage. At least 140 houses in the Betulia municipality of the department of Santander (25 km from Los Santos) suffered damage, some may not be safe.

 

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