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 10/21/2014

Floods. Five people have died as a result of this month’s rainfall. The continued rain has produced landslides and the collapse of walls and drains. In addition, the landslide susceptibility conditions are moderate to high across the country. (o.s.: Civil Protection, SNET; m.c.: La Prensa Gráfica).

Guatemala 10/21/2014

Orange alert for rain. 64% of the territory has very high probabilities of landslides and floods. Unstable conditions continue throughout the country. There are 12.059 people affected due to landslides, flooding and damage to infrastructure. Increase in the flow of seven rivers and the collapse of drains have been attributed to the rainfall. (o.s.: CONRED; m.c.: Prensa Libre).

Honduras 10/21/2014

Floods. About 5,004 people are isolated and 4,998 more have been evacuated to shelters due to the rains that hit the country; three people have died and three are missing. In La Costa de los Amates about 3,000 people have been isolated by the flooding of the Goascoran river. In La Mosquitia the rising waters of the Coco River have left 2,004 people held isolated. Rainfall has also left 4,998 people affected, of which 2,499 have been evacuated and 2,499 are living in shelters. The rise of the Choluteca River has the lowlands of the south on alert. COPECO has alerted the population of water contamination in areas where floods and overflows have been recorded. (o.s.: COPECO; m.: La Tribuna).

Nicaragua 10/21/2014

Rainfall. A Yellow Alert remains in effect as rainfall is expected to persist in the country, mainly in Rivas, Granada, Masaya, San Juan River, Southern Caribbean and the Autonomous Region. 24 people have died and there are 60,000 people affected in 17 departments. 5,852 houses have been damaged, of which 881 have been vacated due to high risk. 224 miles of roads have been damaged and 87 have been destroyed, as well as wells, bridges and latrines. National response. (o.s.: INETER; m.: La Voz del Sandinismo).

Mexico 10/21/2014

Hurricane Trudy. At least six people were killed, 2,300 were evacuated and 16 people remained are isolated after the passage of Tropical Storm Trudy, that has since been downgraded to a depression, in the state of Guerrero. The natural phenomenon mainly affected the municipalities of Huamuxtitlán, Tlalixtaquilla and Malinaltepec. In Oaxaca the local government informed of the overflow of the Juchatengo and Toltec rivers. Authorities issued a preventive red alert both in Guerrero and Oaxaca, due to the heavy rains produced by the storm. (o.s.: Protección Civil; m.c.: CNN).

El Salvador 10/21/2014

Floods. Five people have died as a result of this month’s rainfall. The continued rain has produced landslides and the collapse of walls and drains. In addition, the landslide susceptibility conditions are moderate to high across the country. (o.s.: Civil Protection, SNET; m.c.: La Prensa Gráfica).



Health effects associated with volcanic eruptions in Chile and Argentina

Puyehue Volcano in Chile, which last erupted in June causing the evacuation of 4,000 people, is once again showing signs of activity. Back in June, the National Emergency Office (ONEMI) maintained a Red Alert in communities from Los Lagos and Los Rios Regions. The city of Bariloche, in Argentina, was declared in a state of economic and social disaster as a result of the devastating effects of the volcano. Major roads, as well as crop areas, were covered by thick layer of ashes.

In this situation, the health sector response has been swift. Health facilities assist the population during extended hours and the national authorities have already sent to the area 310,000 masks, eye drops, chlorine tablets and water purification equipment. Health recommendations in these cases are aimed to ensure quality control of air and drinking water, to prevent diseases caused by volcanic ash and to maintain sanitary conditions in shelters and waste disposal, among others.

Most active volcanoes in the world are in Latin America and the Caribbean, and millions of people live in villages and towns located nearby. Throughout history, many of these volcanoes have shown great capacity for destruction. In order to avoid loss of lives and damages, PAHO/WHO continues to provide support to countries to prepare contingency plans in the health sector to deal with such emergencies.

Picture: Volcanic ash from Puyehue´s volcano. © Dr. Sergio Mora

 

Situation Report 1 Volcano Chile/Argentina June 9, 2011

 

                             Epidemiological surveillance diagram

                

For more information on volcanic eruptions, see the following PAHO/WHO material (in Spanish):

    Guía de Preparativos de Salud Frente a Erupciones Volcánicas.

    Los volcanes y la protección de la salud.

    Video - Los volcanes y la protección de la salud.

    Aprendiendo a vivir con el volcán, protegemos nuestra salud.

    Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis in the Health Sector during Disasters

    ¿Quién es usted señor volcán? 

 

Material from other organizations:

   The health hazards of volcanic ash (IVHHN and others)

   Guidelines on preparedness before, during and after an ashfall (IVHHN and others)

   Protocol for analysis of bulk ash samples (IVHHN and Durham University)

 

Scientific Articles:

   Respiratory health hazards of volcanic ash

   Cristobalite in a rhyolitic lava dome

    

We also recommend these links:

    International Volcano Health Hazard Network (IVHHN)
    Colombian Institute for Geology and Mines (SERNAGEOMIN)
   Basic recommendations for volcanic eruptions (ONEMI-Chile) - in Spanish

 

 

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