Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

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Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief


Monitoring Emergencies

From official sources (O.S.) and media (M). It does not represent PAHO's official position.

Brazil 1/23/2015

Civil Defense declared Emergency in four municipalities. Mato Verde City (MG), is experiencing drought, Rio Branco do Sul (PR), heavy rains; Novo Tiradentes (RS), and Uruguayana (RS), were stricken by sudden floods. (os.: DEFENSA CIVIL).

Peru 1/23/2015

Drought, due to the reduction of rains, seven dams that supply Arequipa would only have water for a little more than three months. Every year the dams of the System of Chili Regulado should store more than 300 million cubic meters (m3) of water.   Of this figure, 210 million are in order to meet the minimum needs for the city (energy, population use, agricultural sector, industry and others) and other 100 million in order to have them in reserve for emergencies. (m.: LAREPUBLICA).

Chile 1/23/2015

Wild fires Summary. Update 22 January - 47 Reported Fires: 7 active (O'Higgins, Biobío, Los Rios, Los Lagos and Aysén); 28 controlled (Metropolitan, Maule, Biobío, La Araucanía, Los Rios y Los Lagos). There are 12 extinguished fires (Valparaiso, Metropolitana, Maule, Biobío, La Araucanía and Los Ríos) which affected nearly 15 thousand hectares of vegetation.
People and homes affected: Two deceased people, 104 victims, 30 homes destroyed, It was also reported the destruction of two warehouses and one School. (fo.: ONEMI).

Brazil 1/23/2015

Civil Defense declared Emergency in four municipalities. Mato Verde City (MG), is experiencing drought, Rio Branco do Sul (PR), heavy rains; Novo Tiradentes (RS), and Uruguayana (RS), were stricken by sudden floods. (os.: DEFENSA CIVIL).

Hurricane Sandy Leaves a Path of Destruction in the Caribbean and the East Coast of the United States

Hurricane Sandy, after lashing the Caribbean, hit the East Coast of the United States on Monday, 29 October, affecting millions. The hurricane caused at least 165 deaths throughout the Region. Intense flooding, especially in New York and New Jersey, forced people to evacuate, shut down transportation systems and cut off transport via major roads and bridges.   

PAHO/WHO Hurricane Sandy Sitrep 2 - 2 Nov 2012

Health situation by countries (information updated on 2 November 2012)

In the United States, according to reports, at least 90 deaths have occurred as a result of the storm. Most hospitals in the region remain open and functioning, however some had to be evacuated during the storm. According to the NYC Health and Hospital Corporation, the Bellevue Hospital in downtown New York City was evacuated, and all patients were transferred to alternative facilities. Coney Island Hospital evacuated 180 patients, and flooding and power loss forced the New York University Langone Medical Center to evacuate patients.

Disaster Medical Assistance Teams coming from throughout the country are providing care in medical shelters in New York City and a 50-person Disaster Medical Assistance Team is providing medical care in shelters in New Jersey.

In the Bahamas, the majority of the health facilities (hospitals and clinics) are open and providing services as normal.The Ministry of Health/Department of Public Health and the National Insurance Board are coordinating to begin repairing damage, specifically in health clinics. They are also mobilizing backup, portable generators to those areas most in need.

In Cuba, Hurricane Sandy severely affected the city of Santiago de Cuba. Close to 305,000 people were affected by the storm. Reports indicate that 615 health facilities of different levels have been affected in six provinces: Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Granma, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo. The damage caused by the hurricane on the environment and health infrastructure forced the distribution of water and water storage. This water storage can create risks related to water or vector-borne diseases such as dengue and leptospirosis.

Since Haiti was hit by Tropical Storm Isaac in late August 2012, the number of cholera cases has been increasing each month and the number of deaths is now higher than in earlier months this year. Early reports following the impact of Hurricane Sandy indicate that the same trend is likely to continue. A total of 196 new cases and 16 deaths were reported through the alert and response system between 24 and 29 October.

Four PAHO response teams (including clinicians, logisticians and water and sanitation specialists) have been deployed and are supporting health authorities at the department level in the areas of response coordination, investigation of health alerts and provision of supplies to cholera treatment centers, including to decentralized warehouses.

In Jamaica, Hurricane Sandy caused one death and left 237 people injured. The Ministry of Health reports that 51 health facilities suffered some form of damage (50% of which are minor). Six of these facilities are hospitals and 39 of which are health centers or community hospitals. The others are health departments or other facilities.   As of 31 October, 24 of the 25 hospitals remain fully functional. Water and electricity has been restored to approximately 80% of the affected population and most schools have reopened.


Situation Reports

PAHO/WHO Hurricane Sandy Sitrep 1 - 30 Oct 2012

PAHO/WHO Hurricane Sandy Sitrep 2 - 2 Nov 2012


More information

Hurricane Season 2012

Preparedness tips from CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for hurricane season



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