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

Chile 4/17/2014

Valparaíso region. Wildfire update (12-17 April). 12,400 people evacuated and 959 are in 9 shelters. The fire is still active. Response: Health mobile posts continue to be deployed for medical attention and vaccinations; more than 10,000 people vaccinated against tetanus. Shelter conditions verified and twelve water tanks installed. The government approved urgent measures to help those affected. Red alert continues for Viña del Mar and Valparaíso.  (o.s: Ministry of Health, Government of Chile, PAHO Office in Chile).

Arica and Parinacota, and Tarapacá regions. 8.2 earthquake update (1-17 April). Total: 21,753 people affected and 1096 remain in shelters. Response: Four pavilions from the Air Force and the Sargento Aldea ship providing surgical support to Iquique Hospital’s operations. Basic services have been restored. State of catastrophe continues. (o.s: Ministry of HealthONEMI) .

Nicaragua 4/17/2014

Earthquake update (10-17 April). Managua Lake has experienced changes in temperature and a regression of the water level. Seismic activity has started south of Xiloa Laguna, and continues in the Xolotlán Lake zone. 600 families are in three shelters and 3,000 evacuees have gone to family members’ homes. Response: Evacuation of two hospitals in Managua and Chinandega is in process, and medical brigades continue to be deployed. Authorities are monitoring the water and evaluation of the situation is in progress. Structures that represent a danger are being demolished. (o.s: INETER, UNETE, PAHO Office in Nicaragua; m: El 19 Digital, La voz del Sandinismo.

Canada 4/17/2014

Quebec province. 632 people are evacuated due to floods. Roads are affected; local and provincial response. (o.s: Government of Quebec. m: Toronto Sun, Prensa Latina)

Peru 4/17/2014

Ubinas volcano. Six moderate explosions are registered as well as an increase in sulfur dioxide emissions. Ash falls on eleven communities in a radius of 20km, and forecasts estimate further dispersion to the north and northeast. 1,038 people are affected in five communities. Cases of conjunctivitis and mental health have increased. Response: Health authorities mobilize brigades for medical and psychological attention, environmental monitoring, and to distribute masks. The population of Querapi was evacuated and other evacuations are being prepared. National level is sending humanitarian assistance, and the alert level has risen to “orange.” (o.s: Ministry of Health, INDECI, Paho Office in Peru; m: Andina, RPP, El Comercio)

Chile 4/17/2014

Valparaíso region. Wildfire update (12-17 April). 12,400 people evacuated and 959 are in 9 shelters. The fire is still active. Response: Health mobile posts continue to be deployed for medical attention and vaccinations; more than 10,000 people vaccinated against tetanus. Shelter conditions verified and twelve water tanks installed. The government approved urgent measures to help those affected. Red alert continues for Viña del Mar and Valparaíso.  (o.s: Ministry of Health, Government of Chile, PAHO Office in Chile).

Arica and Parinacota, and Tarapacá regions. 8.2 earthquake update (1-17 April). Total: 21,753 people affected and 1096 remain in shelters. Response: Four pavilions from the Air Force and the Sargento Aldea ship providing surgical support to Iquique Hospital’s operations. Basic services have been restored. State of catastrophe continues. (o.s: Ministry of HealthONEMI) .

8 march – International Women’s Day: recognizing the vital role of women in risk reduction

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On International Women’s Day, celebrated every year on 8 March, PAHO’s Area on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief recognizes the fundamental role of women in risk reduction, both in prevention and response, as well as in the recovery activities.

Today, more than ever, it is necessary to stop viewing women as the passive victims of disasters. It is very important to highlight their valuable participation in risk reduction, integrating the gender perspective in all policies, plans and decision-making processes related to disaster risk management.

It is recognized that disasters have different impacts on the quality of life of women and men of different ages and ethnic groups. Considering this, the plans for preparedness, mitigation and response to disasters should consider not only the specific needs, but also the potential contributions of women and men. A gender focus in the study and analysis of disasters is essential to reach the goal of having safer and more resilient communities.

The United Nations Security Council recognizes that humanitarian crises increase the risk to women to HIV, sexual violence and gender-based violence, and that Member States must implement positive actions to protect and empower women and girls to prevent these situations in the context of humanitarian assistance.

The region of Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the most vulnerable to disasters caused by natural hazards, a tendency that is increasing. Women are a fundamental part of the solution and they have both the right and the duty to take part in disaster risk management in their communities and nations, as well as in preparedness, action and recovery from disasters. They should also be considered in the consultation processes for decision making as well as in the creation of public policies for risk management.

An active and proactive role of women is fundamental, not only to advance in the development of people, but also in the strengthening of human rights.

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