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Major Emergencies

Intense Rains Cause Severe Damage in the Region

In the last few weeks, heavy rains, landslides and floods have affected several countries in the Region (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, among others), that have caused emergency situations with personal and material losses.

In these types of emergencies PAHO/WHO recommends that the population increase hygiene measures, including washing hands with soap and water, storing food and medicine properly, and paying attention to the recommendations from authorities regarding the consumption of safe water.

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Tropical Storm Isaac

The final toll of Tropical Storm Isaac was two people dead in the U.S. and 24 in Haiti. In addition hundreds of thousands of people were left withtout electricity. In Haiti there was an increase in cholera cases and in the Dominican Republic  hundreds of people had to be moved to shelters. Also, in the Dominican Republic six hospitals and one health center were affected by the heavy rains. 

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Floods in Central America

The low pressure system that has hit Central America since October 10 has caused floods and landslides affecting 600,000 people in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua including 55,000 people displaced to 700 shelters in the countries. The Ministries of Health have reported damages to health centers and equipments, and loss of supplies. These issues put public health at risk if they are not addressed promptly. El Salvador has declared a national emergency, and Nicaragua and Guatemala has declared a state of emergency.

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The Cholera Epidemic Maintains its Hold in Haiti

There are currently 30 CTCs, 169 CTUs, and 766 ORPs functioning in-country. The end of the rainy season has contributed to a considerable drop in cholera cases. Currently, an average of 300 cases per day has been observed all over the country, in comparison to 500 cases per day in November. The department currently reporting the highest mortality rates is West. The number of cholera cases is stable or decreasing in the departments of North, North-East, Artibonite, Center, West, South-East, South and Grand Anse, whereas cases in the North-West, are increasing and in Nippes department, the situation can be described as unstable with small peaks.

Cholera Haiti Health Cluster Bulletin 30 (Dec 21 2011) 

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Heavy Rains and Landslides Affect Guatemala

Heavy rains during the week of 7 September 2010, in the Pacific coast of Guatemala, caused landslides and overflowing of rivers, due to soil saturation. According to reports, there were more than 40 deaths, 16 people went missing and more than 50,000 people were affected. A red alert was declared in the affected areas. There was no damage to health facilities, although the road infrastructure was affected.

PAHO/WHO Situation Report - 7 September 2010 (in Spanish)

 

Earthquake in Chile - February 2010

An 8.8 magnitude earthquake, the strongest in the last 50 years, struck Chile on 27 February 2010. The death toll was 723. In the health sector, eight hospitals were left out of service and 10 suffered major damage. However, to put these numbers into perspective, the overwhelming majority of hospitals in the affected area--76 hospitals--continued operating without major difficulties. Although aftershocks continued for several weeks after the earthquake, no further damage was reported.

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Earthquake in Haiti - January 2010

On 12 January 2010, a powerful 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti—causing massive loss of life, catastrophic building damage, and unimaginable human suffering. The Government of Haiti estimates 220,000 people lost their lives and over 300,000 people were injured. The earthquake crippled Haiti’s infrastructure, as key buildings, such as the Presidential Palace, the Parliament, the Ministry of Health (MSPP), and other government ministries collapsed. Eight hospitals were totally destroyed and 22 seriously damaged in the three regions most affected by the Earthquake (Ouest, Nippes, Sud-Est).

Haiti: One Year After the Earthquake - January 2011

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