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.

Uruguay - 9/16/2014

Floods in six departments, particularly in Durazno, have affected more than 2,000 people. In addition, several roads have been blocked in different sections. The flow of the Yi River has been increasing steadily in recent days, reaching a height of 10.93 meters in Durazno; the height at which it begins affecting households is 8.6 meters. Three shelters have been established for people who have evacuated their homes. Local response. (o.s.: SINAE; m.: El País)

Mexico - 9/16/2014

Baja California: Hurricane Odile. In the aftermath of the storm, 10,000 people have been affected, 30,000 are awaiting transport, and there are 4,000 in shelters. In addition, there are damages to power lines, water supply and telephone communications. The towns of Loreto, La Paz and Los Cabos are isolated. Although it has been downgraded to a tropical storm, Odile is expected to continue generating heavy rains in the northwest of the country. Local response. (o.s.: CONAGUA; m.: Milenio)

Uruguay - 9/16/2014

Floods in six departments, particularly in Durazno, have affected more than 2,000 people. In addition, several roads have been blocked in different sections. The flow of the Yi River has been increasing steadily in recent days, reaching a height of 10.93 meters in Durazno; the height at which it begins affecting households is 8.6 meters. Three shelters have been established for people who have evacuated their homes. Local response. (o.s.: SINAE; m.: El País)



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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