Tropical depression wreaks havoc in Central America

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Between 10 and 17 October, Central American countries suffered the impact of constant rains produced by Tropical Depression 12E. Extensive flooding and landslides caused damage to houses, roads and bridges, health facilities, agriculture, and the environment in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.

A reported 1,048,533 people have been affected, including an estimated 27,000 people who were housed in 779 shelters. More than 110 people died as a direct result of this emergency.

The civil defense agencies of Central America (CONRED in Guatemala, SINAPRED in Nicaragua, and COPECO in Honduras) and the Ministries of Health began a process of rapid assessment of damages and needs in each of the areas affected by floods and landslides. However, difficulties in reaching isolated areas delayed the collection of information.

The affected countries reported an increased need for emergency medical care, epidemiological surveillance and vector control, and for public information campaigns on disease prevention. There were shortages in medicines and medical supplies, drinking water, latrines, hygiene kits, and shelters. In El Salvador, hospital waste management is seen as a concern. About 150 health facilities were damaged to different degrees in the four countries most affected by this hydro-meteorological phenomenon.

PAHO/WHO responded quickly to the emergency, providing technical assistance and mobilizing resources to meet the most pressing health needs. To complement the activities being carried out by Governments of the affected countries, PAHO/WHO and other United Nations agencies have identified projects for immediate intervention, launching Flash Appeals for support from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). For more information, contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Population affected by flooding in Central America, October 2011

Country Population affected Deaths Displaced Living in shelters ( No. of shelters)

El Salvador

300,000

35

54,903

35,641 (548)

Guatemala

528,735

38

30,040

19,775 (129)

Honduras

69,798

29

12,601

6,958

Nicaragua

150,000

16

107,366

10,146 (102)

Total

1,048,533

118

204,910

27,520

Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

525 23rd Street, N.W. - Washington, D.C. 20037, U.S.A.
202.974.3399 - Fax 202.775.4578 - disaster@paho.org - www.paho.org/disasters