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.

Colombia 7/25/2014

Drought. La Guajira Department. The Office of the Ombudsman (Defensoría del Pueblo) has asked the national government and territorial authorities for emergency humanitarian intervention, to prevent infant mortality from diseases caused by the water shortages. The national government has announced an strategy to mitigate the effects of the shortage: drilling, distribution of water through tank cars, increased methods to control fires, support for agriculture. UNGR has distributed food and water kits and taken steps to clean water reservoirs in the Uribía municipality, in two phases, benefitting 26,000 families. (o.s.: Defensoría del Pueblo, Presidencia de Colombia, UNGRD; m.: Caracol)

Paraguay 7/25/2014

Floods update. River levels decreasing. Response: Continued support to those affected; 15,958 people have received assistance in Asunción. Installation of sanitation modules in affected areas of Asunción continues; a total of 100 will be installed. SEN (Paraguay) authorities have met with authorities from the Argentine Prime Minister’s Office and the Formosa (Argentina) province to coordinate bilateral collaboration before a possible El Niño phenomenon. (o.s.: Oficina de OPS en Paraguay, Ministerio de Salud, Secretaría de Emergencia Nacional; m.: Naineck Prensa Digital).

Colombia 7/25/2014

Drought. La Guajira Department. The Office of the Ombudsman (Defensoría del Pueblo) has asked the national government and territorial authorities for emergency humanitarian intervention, to prevent infant mortality from diseases caused by the water shortages. The national government has announced an strategy to mitigate the effects of the shortage: drilling, distribution of water through tank cars, increased methods to control fires, support for agriculture. UNGR has distributed food and water kits and taken steps to clean water reservoirs in the Uribía municipality, in two phases, benefitting 26,000 families. (o.s.: Defensoría del Pueblo, Presidencia de Colombia, UNGRD; m.: Caracol)



6.9 Earthquake in Mexico / Guatemala

A strong 6.9 magnitude earthquake at 37 km depth shook the Mexican border with Guatemala on Monday morning (7/7/2014), causing three deaths and 21 injured, damaging buildings in both countries. The quake was felt across a broad swath of southern Mexico and Guatemala. After the earthquake, monitoring protocols and verification of damage were activated in affected regions in both countries. In Guatemala, Orange Alert Institutional was declared and in Chiapas (Mexico) was activated the State Emergency Committee. The wounded were treated at hospitals without exceeding the attention capacity.

 

Floods in Paraguay Leave Thousands Displaced

Paraguay - junio 2014For the last four months Paraguay has been affected by heavy rains that have produced high tides in at least eight departments, and in the capital, Asuncion, due to the overflowing of the Parana and Paraguay rivers, among others. The floods have been slow-onset; therefore, it has been possible to evacuate populations on time. However, more than 30,000 families (about 160,000 people) have been affected, and many of them have been evacuated to the 91 shelters established, or are staying with relatives or friends.

NEW! PAHO/WHO receives U.N. emergency funds to restore water and sanitation in flooded areas of Paraguay

 

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Boosting National Efforts to Protect Health Services in Disasters

The Fourth Session of the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction of the Americas (RP14) recognized the importance of having and promoting national initiatives on safe hospitals and the need to protect essential services, particularly those dedicated to providing health care and education. The RP14 was held in Guayaquil, Ecuador, from 27 - 29 May. Parallel to the Platform, PAHO’s Department of Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief hosted a meeting for Health Disaster Coordinators. In addition, prior to these activities, a Course on Rapid Response, aimed at strengthening PAHO’s Regional Response Team, was held on the 26th.

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Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sector - Guide for the Coordination of Public Health Emergencies and Disasters

The purpose of this guide is to share information, knowledge and tools to strengthen coordination mechanisms in the water, sanitation and health sector, both at national and local level. It is structured in three modules: the first focuses on knowledge of the Humanitarian Reform and the establishment of sectoral groups to respond to public health emergencies and disaster situations. The second presents information regarding the operational activities in the water, sanitation and hygiene sectors and its links with other sectors. Finally, the third discloses the tools necessary to work on preparedness and response for an efficient coordination in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.

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Quick Guide for Water Health Surveillance - Actions to Ensure Safe Water for the Population

Water health surveillance is a very effective public health intervention to prevent water-borne diseases. This publication presents actions that can be taken to ensure safe water for the population, through practical and simple tools that generate timely information for decision-making, and thus apply the necessary corrective measures in order to protecting the health of the population, which is the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance, the drinking water and sanitation sector governing body.

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