Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief


Monitoring Emergencies

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

Bolivia 4/24/2014

Cochabamba department. Omereque municipality. A drought is affecting seven towns and affecting agriculture. Municipal emergency declared. (m: ABI).

Colombia 4/24/2014

Tolima department. Ibagué municipality. Floods and landslides from rain affect ten neighborhoods; no health damage. Drinking water supply is partially affected. (m: RCN Radio, Caracol)
Valle del Cauca department. Trujillo municipality. Strong winds damage 67 homes. Local authorities request departmental and national support. (m: El País, Caracol)

Ecuador 4/24/2014

Manabí province. Manta community. Ammonia leak causes four deaths and injures 33 people, nine of them seriously. Local response with provincial support. (o.s: SNGR; m: El Comercio, Hoy).

Mexico 4/24/2014

Michoacán state. Lázaro Cárdenas municipality. Fertilizer plant fire generates a gas cloud that causes 77 people to seek medical care. Three schools and residents of a community were also evacuated preventively. Local and state response. (o.s: Michoacán Government, Michoacán Civil Protection; m: Quadratin, El Universal).

Peru 4/24/2014

Ubinas volcano. Volcanic activity and ash emission continues. Cases of conjunctivitis increase in San Juan Tarucani. Response: Strengthening of medical and psychological response by medical brigades, as well as support in the evacuation of Moquegua. Preventive measures and monitoring ongoing in communities affected by ashfall in Puno. Humanitarian aid sent to population in shelters. (o.s: INDECI, Ministry of Health, INGEMMET; m: El Comercio, Crónica Viva).

Bolivia 4/24/2014

Cochabamba department. Omereque municipality. A drought is affecting seven towns and affecting agriculture. Municipal emergency declared. (m: ABI).

The Ubinas Volcano in Peru Increases Activity

The Ubinas volcano, located in the department of Moquegua, in Peru, has been increasing its activity since 13 April, with explosions and columns of ash emissions, which have dispersed to an area 24 miles from the volcano’s circumference. These have affected population centers, crops and livestock. National authorities have begun the process of evacuating the towns of Querapi, Tonohaya and San Carlos de Titi. About 5,000 people live in the 5 districts located in the volcano’s influence zone. In response to this situation, the Ministry of Health and local health authorities have strengthened health care services with brigades, distribution of personal protective supplies, and the establishment of coordination and monitoring mechanisms.

icon PAHO/WHO Situation Report No. 1 (2.01 MB) (in Spanish)


7.2 Magnitude Earthquake in Mexico

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake with a depth of 10 km,  36 km away from Tecpan de Galeana, in the state of Guerrero, shook a wide area of Mexico on 18 April. The earthquake occurred within the "Guerrero Seismic Gap". It was felt across a half a dozen states and in Mexico City. One hospital in the colony of Ciudad Renacimiento and several hotels in the tourist area of the port were evacuated; blackouts were reported in several cities in Guerrero.


Wildfire in Valparaíso, Chile

A wildfire, that started on the afternoon of 12 April, affected several hills in the city of Valparaiso, causing fatalities and injuries, prompting the evacuation of thousands of  people, and damaging homes. Troops from CONAF, firefighters, PDI, Police, Army, Navy, SAMU and ONEMI were involved in the response and attention to the emergency. One health center was disabled; the rest of the healthcare network is operating.

Important technical information.

Health Guidelines for Vegetation Fire Events


6.2 Magnitude Earthquake hits Nicaragua

An 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit Nicaragua on 10 April. The epicenter was located at a depth of 10 km in Lake Managua, off the coast of Nagarote. The earthquake was felt in Managua and Leon and other 9 departments, north and south of the Caribbean coast and in areas of El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica. One death and 33 people with injuries were reported. Damage assessment is in progress, and contingency plans have been activated.


Earthquake in Chile Generates Tsunami Alert

Multiple aftershocks, including a 7.6 one continue rocking Chile and southern Peru since the 8.2 magnitude earthquake of 1 April 2014. New evacuations were ordered, but there were no reports of new injuries or deaths. The health network in northern Chile is operational. The communities of Alto Hospicio and Iquique, in Chile, have been the most affected by the earthquakes. An evaluation of damage to roads and housing is in progress.

PAHO/WHO Situation Report No. 2 - 3 April 2014 

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