The combined effect of Tropical Storm Ida and a low pressure system off the Pacific coast resulted in heavy rains in El Salvador, between 7 and 8 November 2009, causing severe flooding and landslides in seven of the 14 departments. In just four hours, 355 mm of rainfall were recorded in the most affected areas, not far from where 400 mm was recorded during the four days of Hurricane Mitch (1998). The amount of rain was about five times the average expected precipitation for the month of November.
In addition, the heavy rain caused floods, erosion and landslides on steep slopes. The mixture of water, mud and sediment-material carried by the current-saturated riverbeds which were already overwhelmed by the rainy season that had just ended. It caused widespread flooding in the plains that affected settlements, towns and urban areas. The floods damaged urban and rural infrastructure and the communications sector.
Fifty-two municipalities were affected, 20% of the total in the country. One hundred ninety-nine people died, thousands of people needed to go to shelters due to the loss of their homes, and received health care and mental health support and were given access to water supply and basic sanitation. Also, recovery activities were conducted in health units in the affected areas.
The work of the Pan American Health Organization was conducted in coordination with the Ministry of Public Health and Welfare, the governing body responsible for protecting the health of all people, especially in emergency situations and disasters. The priority was to save lives and assist in the urgent needs of the population directly affected, with the help of countries that immediately responded to the emergency.
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
The Cholera Epidemic Maintains its Hold in Haiti (10/21/2010)
Heavy Rains and Landslides Affect Guatemala (09/08/2010)
Earthquake in Chile - February 2010 (02/27/2010)
Earthquake in Haiti - January 2010 (01/13/2010)
Hurricane Ida - November 2009 (11/09/2009)
Pandemic (H1N1) - 2009 (04/30/2009)
2008 Hurricane Season (09/30/2008)
Tropical Storms of 2008 (06/09/2008)
Tropical Storm Olga - December 2007 (12/14/2007)
Tropical Storm Noel - November 2007 (10/29/2007)
Hurricane Felix - September 2007 (09/06/2007)
Earthquake in Peru - August 2007 (08/16/2007)
Volcano Tungurahua - August 2006 (08/16/2006)
Floods in Suriname - May 2006 (05/10/2006)
Floods in Bolivia - January/February 2006 (01/31/2006)
Hurricane Wilma - October 2005 (10/25/2005)
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita - August 2005 (08/29/2005)
Hurricane Jeanne - September 2004 (09/18/2004)
Hurricane Ivan - September 2004 (09/09/2004)
Hurricane Frances - August/September 2004 (09/01/2004)
Regional Office of the World Health Organization