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.

Uruguay - 9/16/2014

Floods in six departments, particularly in Durazno, have affected more than 2,000 people. In addition, several roads have been blocked in different sections. The flow of the Yi River has been increasing steadily in recent days, reaching a height of 10.93 meters in Durazno; the height at which it begins affecting households is 8.6 meters. Three shelters have been established for people who have evacuated their homes. Local response. (o.s.: SINAE; m.: El País)

Mexico - 9/16/2014

Baja California: Hurricane Odile. In the aftermath of the storm, 10,000 people have been affected, 30,000 are awaiting transport, and there are 4,000 in shelters. In addition, there are damages to power lines, water supply and telephone communications. The towns of Loreto, La Paz and Los Cabos are isolated. Although it has been downgraded to a tropical storm, Odile is expected to continue generating heavy rains in the northwest of the country. Local response. (o.s.: CONAGUA; m.: Milenio)

Uruguay - 9/16/2014

Floods in six departments, particularly in Durazno, have affected more than 2,000 people. In addition, several roads have been blocked in different sections. The flow of the Yi River has been increasing steadily in recent days, reaching a height of 10.93 meters in Durazno; the height at which it begins affecting households is 8.6 meters. Three shelters have been established for people who have evacuated their homes. Local response. (o.s.: SINAE; m.: El País)



Nuclear Emergency in Japan

On 11 March 2011, a magnitude 9 earthquake on the Richter scale hit the East Coast of Japan. As part of the contingency plan, all the nuclear reactors in the area shut down and emergency generator power systems were activated. However, the 14-16 meter high tsunami waves that followed the earthquake affected some of the emergency generators at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, which had three reactors in operation at the time.  Units 1 to 4 were left without any power, preventing the cooling systems for the reactor’s core and for the spent fuel pools to function. The generated heat damaged the fuel rods causing several explosions.

Although some radiological contamination spread into the environment and food and milk restrictions still exist in some of the surrounding villages, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency "no health effects have been reported in any person as a result of radiation exposure from the nuclear accident". The International Maritime Organization affirms "screening of radiation for health and safety purposes is currently considered unnecessary at airports and seaports around the world". Radiation doses to the nuclear plant workers are continuously being monitored. To prevent further dispersion of radioactive substances, the buildings of the affected units will be covered.

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