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.

Honduras 10/27/2014

Tropical Storm Hanna dissipated; however, moderate to mild rainfall remains in the Atlantic coast. A Green Alert has been declared for 24 hours for the departments of Gracias a Dios, Colon, Atlantida, Islas de la Bahia, Yoro and Cortes, places prone to flash floods and landslides, because the soil is saturated as a result of rainfall in previous days. The storm caused the collapse of several bridges and left some villages cut off. (o.s.: COPECO; m.c.: La Tribuna, RedHum).

Panama 10/27/2014

Heavy rainfall in recent days has affected the districts of David, Bugaba and Baru. The swollen rivers have caused the collapse of walls. The movement of garbage has clogged sewers. The Regional Director of the Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers, confirmed that the city of David and the District of Bugaba have been left without water. (o.s.: SINAPROC; m.: La Estrella).

Honduras 10/27/2014

Tropical Storm Hanna dissipated; however, moderate to mild rainfall remains in the Atlantic coast. A Green Alert has been declared for 24 hours for the departments of Gracias a Dios, Colon, Atlantida, Islas de la Bahia, Yoro and Cortes, places prone to flash floods and landslides, because the soil is saturated as a result of rainfall in previous days. The storm caused the collapse of several bridges and left some villages cut off. (o.s.: COPECO; m.c.: La Tribuna, RedHum).



Two years after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan

On 11 March 2011, Japan suffered one of the worst disasters in its recent history. A 9.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicenter off the coast of Honshu—and the most powerful registered in the country—provoked a tsunami that struck the coast in less than half an hour. With waves that reached almost 40 meters, the tsunami caused the death of more than 15,000 people, and left more than 3,000 people missing and almost 6,000 injured. Approximately 45,700 buildings were destroyed and 144,300 were damaged.

The tragedy that followed was caused not only by the earthquake and the tsunami, but also because of a serious accident in the Fukushima's nuclear plant, that included explosions in the buildings containing the nuclear reactors, failures in the refrigeration systems, a triple merger of the core and escape of radiation. Although the accident was a consequence of the earthquake and the tsunami, failures in the nuclear plant safety protocols contributed to it.

The absence of a containment wall for tsunamis with high waves allowed the water to penetrate the nuclear plant without any opposition. The numerous critical systems located in areas vulnerable to floods caused a chain reaction of technological failures, culminating in the complete loss of control over the plant and its reactors. This situation led to high radiation levels and prompted the evacuation of more than 60,000 people.

In addition, communication problems during the management of the crisis created a loss of confidence in the authorities within the population.

Regarding the health consequences of the disaster, the WHO report ‘Health Risk Assessment from the Nuclear Accident after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Based on Preliminary Dose estimation’ noted that the estimated risk for specific cancers in certain subsets of the population in the Fukushima Prefecture has increased and, as such, it calls for long term continued monitoring and health screenings of those people.

In this second anniversary, we invite you to view a collection of information about radiological emergencies prepared by the Regional Disaster Information Center for Latin America and the Caribbean (CRID), where you will find:

  • A selection of publications about lessons learned;
  • A selection of webpages of institutions related to the subject;
  • Documents and technical guidelines;
  • A history of radiological accidents in Latin America;
  • Courses and trainings.
 

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