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 7/24/2014

Drought. La Guajira Department. Eight of the 15 municipalities have been declared in state of calamity. Response: National government will determine mitigation measures to address drought and El Niño phenomenon. Declaration of public calamity and sanitary emergency is being considered. Departmental governments of Atlántico and César prepare response plans. 117 municipalities at risk in Colombia, according to National Water Study. Nearly 80% probability that the phenomenon will happen during the final trimester. (o.s.: Defensoría del Pueblo, IDEAM: Predicción climática Julio e Informe condiciones actuales y predicción climática; m.:  Caracol, RCN).
Cauca department. Timbiquí municipality. Landslides in open air mine cause seven deaths and two injuries. (m.: El Espectador).
Nariño Department. Pasto municipality. Floods leave 205 families isolated in El Encano zone, another 80 families at risk. Declaration of public calamity by local authorities. (m.: Caracol).

Mexico 7/24/2014

State of Guerrero. Tecpan, Zihuatanejo, and Petatlán municipalities. Heavy rains damage 800 homes in 42 communities and 40 districts. State government response, requesting declaration of emergency. Forecast for heavy rains in the west of the country and intense rains in Veracruz. (o.s.: SMN, Gobierno de Guerrero; m.: Milenio).

Peru 7/24/2014

Loreto department. Oil spill update. 450 people affected, water consumption restrictions in some locations. Response: mobilization of health teams, health personnel remain in the zone, chlorine solution is being distributed and water analysis is being conducted. Local communities request declaration of environmental and sanitary emergency. (o.s.: INDECI; m.: La República)

Colombia 7/24/2014

Drought. La Guajira Department. Eight of the 15 municipalities have been declared in state of calamity. Response: National government will determine mitigation measures to address drought and El Niño phenomenon. Declaration of public calamity and sanitary emergency is being considered. Departmental governments of Atlántico and César prepare response plans. 117 municipalities at risk in Colombia, according to National Water Study. Nearly 80% probability that the phenomenon will happen during the final trimester. (o.s.: Defensoría del Pueblo, IDEAM: Predicción climática Julio e Informe condiciones actuales y predicción climática; m.:  Caracol, RCN).
Cauca department. Timbiquí municipality. Landslides in open air mine cause seven deaths and two injuries. (m.: El Espectador).
Nariño Department. Pasto municipality. Floods leave 205 families isolated in El Encano zone, another 80 families at risk. Declaration of public calamity by local authorities. (m.: Caracol).



Water and sanitation: critical elements in emergencies

On World Water Day we reflect on the need of having access to safe water in disasters

Water, a basic element for life, can be one of the major causes for concern after a disaster. The availability of water in sufficient quantity and quality is critical to provide health care, to ensure its use by the affected population, to maintain minimum standards of hygiene and to support the rescue work, among other activities. On World Water Day, PAHO/WHO calls for reflection on the importance and need of including in risk management plans and response plans actions to ensure access to quality drinking water, sanitation and hygiene during emergencies and disasters.

Ensuring water supply is one of the most important measures during an emergency and, in this sense, the monitoring of water quality becomes an action of vital importance to ensure the delivery of safe water to the affected population, hospitals and health facilities.

Water, sanitation and hygiene also become critical elements to avoid diseases that may occur due to the poor health conditions of the affected area. After disasters, water becomes the most precious value and its shortage or contamination can have serious consequences for public health.

For these reasons, PAHO/WHO reiterates the need of taking the necessary measures to ensure water, sanitation and hygiene to the people affected by disasters. These actions involve a number of actors ranging from local authorities and entities providing water service to the affected community. The success of these activities will depend on the level of coordination between these actors.

More information on World Water Day:

 

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