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.

Colombia 8/29/2014

Atlántico Department, City of Barranquilla: Heavy rains with strong winds that hit Barranquilla affected more than 1,500 families. According to authorities, there is a missing person, and dozens of cars were dragged by flowing water. The authorities are asking the community to remain alert and use caution near streams, as more rain is being forecast for the weekend. (m.c: Caracol).

Turks and Caicos 8/29/2014

Significant flooding over the weekend of 23-24 August 2014, as a result of Tropical Storm Cristobal. Around 12 inches of rain fell in the TCI. The most affected islands were North Caicos, Providenciales and Middle Caicos. Floodwaters were several feet deep (estimated at 5 feet) on the islands of North Caicos and Providenciales. Downed trees and power lines were also reported. (PAHO/WHO  Country Office).

Colombia 8/29/2014

Atlántico Department, City of Barranquilla: Heavy rains with strong winds that hit Barranquilla affected more than 1,500 families. According to authorities, there is a missing person, and dozens of cars were dragged by flowing water. The authorities are asking the community to remain alert and use caution near streams, as more rain is being forecast for the weekend. (m.c: Caracol).



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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