Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

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.

El Salvador 10/22/2014

Floods, caused by rainfall in in the western and central parts of the country with damage to the highway leading to the port of La Libertad and the urban area of Santa Ana. MARN is forecasting moderate probability of overflows from rivers and short streams and reported that after recent rainfall about 13 municipalities in six departments have a high susceptibility to landslides, mainly in the central volcanic chain. Damage assessment was conducted in three hospitals and 50 schools affected by rains in the departments of San Miguel and La Union, and those affected by a 7.3-degree earthquake in the town of Zacatecoluca, La Paz. (o.s.: Protección Civil, SNET; m.: La Prensa Gráfica).

Guatemala 10/22/2014

Floods. Heavy rains and winds in recent days have destroyed crops and caused damage to homes in San Juan Cotzal, Quiché, Sanarate and El Progreso. In Zacapa, 7,000 people have been left without access to water due to flood damage to pipes. The rainfall has also damaged homes and artesian wells. (m.: Prensa Libre).

Mexico 10/22/2014

Tropical Storm Rudy. Update. The passage of the storm left 12,000 affected people affected in 35 municipalities that had declared emergency in Guerrero; in Oaxaca damage was reported to 50 roads, 220 homes suffered major damage and their inhabitants were evacuated to 10 shelters. (m.: Informador).

Nicaragua 10/22/2014

Floods. Yellow Alert remains; showers are expected to persist in the country. Heavy rainfall has caused mudslides, landslides, overflowing of rivers, and flooding homes. In Matagalpa more than 100 families were evacuated after the waters of the Rio Grande overflowed and flooded their homes. The current toll is 25 people dead, two missing, 163,000 houses destroyed and partially destroyed and 63 families in 31 shelters in 17 departments. Medical teams are helping communities in the Caribbean coast. (o.s.: INETER; m.: La Voz del Sandinismo).

Panama 10/22/2014

Floods. Rainfall in the province of Los Santos left at least about 48 houses and 218 people affected by floods caused by the overflowing of the rivers. SINAPROC makes damage assessment and needs analysis. Local response. (o.s.: SINAPROC).

El Salvador 10/22/2014

Floods, caused by rainfall in in the western and central parts of the country with damage to the highway leading to the port of La Libertad and the urban area of Santa Ana. MARN is forecasting moderate probability of overflows from rivers and short streams and reported that after recent rainfall about 13 municipalities in six departments have a high susceptibility to landslides, mainly in the central volcanic chain. Damage assessment was conducted in three hospitals and 50 schools affected by rains in the departments of San Miguel and La Union, and those affected by a 7.3-degree earthquake in the town of Zacatecoluca, La Paz. (o.s.: Protección Civil, SNET; m.: La Prensa Gráfica).



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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