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 8/27/2014

Sucre Department, Gulf of Morrosquillo: Oil spill. A state of Public Calamity has been declared due to an environmental emergency. Several beaches had to be closed, due to a spill of 500.000 barrels of oil, in Guacamaya, La Alegria and the mouth of the Pechelin creek. The Sucre Autonomous Corporation reported beach contamination and a visual of oil sheen in the waters of four tourist areas. (F.o:.CARSUCRE) m.: El Espectador)
Atlántico Department, San Juan de Tocagua:  Storm with gale-force winds left 20 houses flooded and with damaged roofs in the southwest area of Atlántico. A local government commission will arrive in the next hours to evaluate damage and offer assistance to the population. (m.: Caracol)

Guatemala 8/27/2014

Update drought. More than two million pounds of food are needed to protect for six months the 236,000 families affected by the prolonged drought. The government has requested assistance through the Diplomatic Corps and International Institutions. The aftermath of drought will last for at least nine months. (m.: La Prensa Libre, La Hora).

Nicaragua 8/27/2014

Managua. Torrential rains left 146 houses damaged and 13 toppled trees. Electric service was interrupted in more than 100 localities due to falling trees and thunder. One person has been reported missing. (m.: El 19 Digital, La Voz del Sandinismo)

Colombia 8/27/2014

Sucre Department, Gulf of Morrosquillo: Oil spill. A state of Public Calamity has been declared due to an environmental emergency. Several beaches had to be closed, due to a spill of 500.000 barrels of oil, in Guacamaya, La Alegria and the mouth of the Pechelin creek. The Sucre Autonomous Corporation reported beach contamination and a visual of oil sheen in the waters of four tourist areas. (F.o:.CARSUCRE) m.: El Espectador)
Atlántico Department, San Juan de Tocagua:  Storm with gale-force winds left 20 houses flooded and with damaged roofs in the southwest area of Atlántico. A local government commission will arrive in the next hours to evaluate damage and offer assistance to the population. (m.: Caracol)



Earthquake and Tsunami in Chile - Disaster Chronicle and Lessons Learned

On February 27, 2010 Chile was struck by a 8.8 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that hit coastal areas in a long stretch of the country. The most affected regions were Maule and Bio Bio, with heavy loss of lives and public and private property, and major damage to the health infrastructure. This earthquake has been considered one of the five most powerful recorded in modern history.

PAHO/WHO and the Ministry of Health decided that it was necessary to prepare a technical paper as a chronicle, describing the facts, analyzing the impact and the country's and international response to the health sector. Secondary sources were used to gather information for the document--emergency regulations, situation reports, preliminary assessments, records and minutes, among other documents-- as well as interviews with different authorities and health teams in Santiago, Talca and Concepción, and wil ONEMI authorities from Maule and Bío Bío.

The first chapter of the publication describes the demographic, social, economic and seismic aspects of the country, a description of the earthquake and tsunami, as well as the damage caused by the event and its economic impact. The second chapter deals with the national response to the disaster, making an overview of the institutions interventions, the needs generated by the event, and identifies critical and facilitating factors of the response. The third chapter describes health sector damages and response to the disaster, including emergency operations to mitigate the impact of the event on public health and for the recovery of the health services. The fourth chapter contains important lessons learned for the health sector.

The publication is available for download (as a PDF file) in Spanish only.

 

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