Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

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Monitoring Emergencies

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

Chile 4/18/2014

Valparaíso Region. Wildfire update (12-18 April). Fire is still active in forested and inhabited areas. 959 people remain in nine shelters. Response: The health network continues to be strengthened with mobile units, brigades of ophthamology operating in affected areas, and mental health attention in shelters. (o.s: Ministry of Health, ONEMI,  PAHO Office in Chile).

Arica y Parinacota and Tarapacá Regions. 8.2M earthquake update. Mental health attention by 30 professionals sent to Tarapacá. (o.s: Ministry of Health).

Mexico 4/18/2014

7.2 magnitude earthquake, 10km deep, 41 km south of Petatlán; felt in western and central states. No reports of deaths or injuries at the moment. Damages in IMSS Hospital in Zihuatanejo, mobile unit sent for support. Minor damages in public buildings in Guerrero. No major damages in Mexico City, some power outages. Response: Activation of protocols and evaluation of damages. (o.s: IMSS, Government of Guerrero; m: El Universal).

Nicaragua 4/18/2014

Earthquakes update (10-18 April). 1,446 people evacuated from unsafe buildings. Seismic activity continues. Response: Emergency plans updated in the health sector, clean water administered, and sanitation systems improved in shelters. Medical attention via brigades in five municipalities. Ecuador sends medical supplies and humanitarian assistance. (o.s: INETER, PAHO Office in Nicaragua, SNGR Ecuador; m: El 19 Digital).

Paraguay 4/18/2014

Misiones and Central departments. Floods affect 100 families in San Ignacio (Misiones) and five neighborhoods in Limpio (Central). National response, evaluation of damages, and distribution of humanitarian assistace. (o.s: SEN; m: ABC Color).

Peru 4/18/2014

Ubinas volcano. Evacuation of communities of Querapi and San Carlos de Titi, 100 people in total. Masks distribution in communities affected by ashfall. (o.s: INDECI).

Chile 4/18/2014

Valparaíso Region. Wildfire update (12-18 April). Fire is still active in forested and inhabited areas. 959 people remain in nine shelters. Response: The health network continues to be strengthened with mobile units, brigades of ophthamology operating in affected areas, and mental health attention in shelters. (o.s: Ministry of Health, ONEMI,  PAHO Office in Chile).

Arica y Parinacota and Tarapacá Regions. 8.2M earthquake update. Mental health attention by 30 professionals sent to Tarapacá. (o.s: Ministry of Health).

Hospitals Safe from Disasters - still a priority

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The tornadoes that have devastated the cities of Joplin (Missouri State) and Minneapolis (Minnesota State) in the U.S. have left dozens of dead people and widespread damages in the infrastructure and services of the area. The main hospital in the city of Joplin had been evacuated after suffering the direct hit from the storm and being severely damaged. The emergency unit, set up to provide care for the wounded, has been moved after several fires were declared in the building.

It is necessary to stress the importance of hospitals and health facilities safe from disasters. PAHO/WHO continues to implement measures to improve safety in the health facilities in the region and to strengthen their capacity to respond to emergencies. It is important to establish alliances within the network of stakeholders from different sectors, both within and outside the health sector.

In the past 10 years progress has been made to ensure that hospitals do not collapse and continue running when a disaster strikes. It is necessary to continue moving in this direction and developing programs to keep hospitals and health centers operating when they are most needed.

Picture: AP

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