Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief


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).

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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