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).



Health Response to the Earthquake in Haiti - January 2010

Lessons to be learned for the next massive sudden-onset disaster

The 12 January 2010 earthquake was the most devastating of many major sudden-impact natural disasters affecting Haiti in the last 10 years. The health impact of the earthquake in absolute terms (number of dead and injured) was among the highest in recent times. When the needs are compared to the country’s response capacity, this disaster was truly unprecedented.

The level of response, especially in the health sector, was generous, even overwhelming. Organization of the massive, global response was challenging, and many of the problems seen in past disasters were replayed in Haiti. Information was scarce, decisions were often not evidence-based, and there were serious gaps in overall or sectoral coordination.

The book and the summaries present lessons to be learned from Haiti with the aim of improving the health sector’s response in major, sudden-onset disasters in the future. It also identifies opportunities provided by the disaster for making significant changes in health services in Haiti. One of the key lessons of the Haiti tragedy is that coordination can only be effective where national authorities are equipped to assume leadership and establish relief and recovery priorities.

The publications give particular emphasis to those lessons that are of general interest, i.e., not specific to the case of Haiti. The international community has much to learn from the response in Haiti where it has shown an ability to repeat its errors and shortcomings from past disasters.

Order a copy of the full publication in English or French from This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (the summaries are only available in PDF format) or download here in PDF format. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read the files. Download the software for free from the Adobe website.

 

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