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Situation Report - 25 August 2006


Daily Highlights

  • Tungurahua’s volcanic activity is currently low.  Lava flows have been reported on the northwest flank.  No threat to the population exists at the moment.
  • Shelters are functioning, while long-term arrangements for the displaced population are being finalized.
  • Health centers are meeting current sanitary needs at the same time as these facilities are strengthened with additional mobile units
  • Current major challenges remain in the coordination of immediate response activities and long-term measures for displaced populations.


  • Government authorities have allocated $1.99 M for relief activities.
  • Presently, international aid, UN System’s support and national resources have been adequate. 

Situation Overview

Health Impact

  • The Tungurahua Volcano erupted on August 16, killing 6 people and injuring 40.
  • Four thousand (4,000) people have been evacuated and 75% of the population in Chimborazo and Tungurahua provinces was directly affected.  The ash fall has had negative effects for an estimated 3 million people in 6 provinces near the eruption site.

Health Response to the situation

1. Shelters

  • Eleven (11) shelters, offering safe water, food and medications, are serving 2,300 people.  Long-term arrangements for sheltered populations remain a priority.

2. Medical Care

  • Health units are managing a daily patient load of 90 new people on average.  Patients mainly seek treatment for upper respiratory conditions, conjunctivitis, dermatitis and gastrointestinal infections.  Mobile units have being deployed to assist health units.
  • Medical and psychosocial care in shelters, especially to the infant population, is being provided by INNFA, the Ministry of Social Welfare and provincial offices.
  • Disabled and handicapped people have been evacuated to special centers in Guayaquil, Quito and Cuenca.

3. Preserving and supporting local Health systems

  • PAHO has been working with national authorities on safe water, focusing on water quality analysis, public information campaigns on water safety and strengthening local capacity to periodically test water quality and chlorination levels in shelters.
  • PAHO, together with the Ministry of Health, will be responsible for shelter health, outbreak surveillance, and water quality and sanitation. 
  • PADRU (IFRC-Panama) is mobilizing people to assist in water quality and sanitation.

4. Agency Assistance

  • PAHO, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, will coordinate public health activities in water supply and sanitation.  Measures include epidemiological surveillance, and water quality control. The health Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and situation room were established in collaboration with UNICEF, UNFPA, WFP, and IFRC.
  • UNDP will support analysis of recovery activities/programs in the affected zones.
  • WFP will support relevant authorities with regard to food security and distribution.
  • UNICEF will provide medical care to infants and children in shelters.

5. Coordination and Management of Response

  • UNFPA will establish an EOC which will be operated by the United Nations system through the UNETE. 


Required Actions

  • Establishment and/or strengthening of surveillance measures for outbreak control and monitoring of displaced persons.
  • Strategic planning for short-term accommodations and long-term arrangements for displaced persons utilizing shelters services.
  • Continuation of activities and measures aimed at restoring water and sanitation systems.


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