Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

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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 3/26/2015

Antofagasta, Atacama, and Coquimbo: Flash flooding generated by intense rains related to a cold front that affects the northern area of the country and that causing rivers to breach their banks. Seven reported deaths and the 19 missing, nearly 500 homes affected, 35 destroyed and nearly 2000 people in shelters. Atacama is the region that has been primarily affected. According to authorities (ONEMI), the most critical areas affected in Atacama are located in Chañaral, Copiapó, Alto del Carmen and Tierra Amarilla. Damage assessment is in progress but access and communication difficulty hinders data collection. Several hospitals have reported damages and are only partially functioning. The Ministry of Health evaluates the situation of the assistance network and issues adjustments in the services network and a Sanitary Alert in Atacama and recommendations. A State of Emergency decree has been issued for the current emergency. ENFERMEPEDIA.

Ecuador 3/26/2015

  • De Los Rios Province: Areas of Babahoyo and nearby localities flooded after 8 hours of intense rain.   Areas of the center and the periphery were flooded yesterday. The Prefecture, Social Security, terrestrial terminal among others buildings were affected by the floods. (mc.: eluniverso).
  • Via Aloag-Santo Domingo (Update) Landslide site that killed 5 people is declared a cemetery.  The bodies cannot be rescued as the site is not safe.  A total are 13 fatal victims including two people in the parish Alluriquín. (m.: eluniverso).

Peru 3/26/2015

Landslide, March 24, 19:00hrs local time. Choros District, Cajamarca Department; 34 homes affected, 9 collapsed, 25 unsafe to return and 0.5km of rural road also affected.  (os.: INDECI).

Chile 3/26/2015

Antofagasta, Atacama, and Coquimbo: Flash flooding generated by intense rains related to a cold front that affects the northern area of the country and that causing rivers to breach their banks. Seven reported deaths and the 19 missing, nearly 500 homes affected, 35 destroyed and nearly 2000 people in shelters. Atacama is the region that has been primarily affected. According to authorities (ONEMI), the most critical areas affected in Atacama are located in Chañaral, Copiapó, Alto del Carmen and Tierra Amarilla. Damage assessment is in progress but access and communication difficulty hinders data collection. Several hospitals have reported damages and are only partially functioning. The Ministry of Health evaluates the situation of the assistance network and issues adjustments in the services network and a Sanitary Alert in Atacama and recommendations. A State of Emergency decree has been issued for the current emergency. ENFERMEPEDIA.



Hospitals Safe from Disasters - still a priority

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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