Belize - Update 11 August 2016
CO Response Team w/ Central Health Region Manager and Director of National Engineering and Maintenance Center
Hurricane Earl struck the country of Belize early morning on Thursday, August 4, 2016 as a category 1 hurricane. The most affected districts were Belize City, Belize Rural, Orange Walk, Cay, and the Stann Creek districts. No fatalities or injuries occurred, but approximately 2,000 families (10,000 people) have been affected in six departments, and an estimated 170 people remain in shelters. Water systems have been restored in Belize City as well as electricity, except for some rural areas in the Belize district which still lack electricity. Residual chlorine tests in the public water supply show levels above the minimum recommended value. Furthermore, flooding remains a concern in many areas in the Cayo District and the Belize River Valley as rivers and dams remain at high levels. Houses, utilities, and agriculture sustained damages. A tidal surge (4-6 ft.) affected mostly the Northern part of Belize City, Vista del Mar, Ladyville, and Los Lagos. Minimal damages were reported to health facilities. However, given the concern for flooding in the weeks to come, water- and vector-borne diseases in flooded areas is a concern, as well as ensuring safe drinking water. The Government of Belize continues to assess and restore critical lifeline facilities, agriculture, transportation, utilities, communication, and infrastructure.
PAHO/WHO; deployed three experts (health coordination, environmental health, and health facilities) to assist the PAHO country office with assessments in support of the Ministry of Health. As of August 10, 2016, ten health facilities have been assessed to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement and recommendations will be made for the SMART Hospital Initiative. PAHO/WHO will collaborate with UNICEF to produce public awareness messages to be disseminated through various channels. In addition, PAHO/WHO is assisting in mental health initiatives, providing WASH kits, and vector-control supplies. Local authorities and PAHO staff are coordinating health systems strengthening as assessments of health facilities continue. PAHO's partnerships with UN agencies, neighboring countries, and local authorities, have resulted in the coordination of response activities to address health and WASH needs. Approximately 1, 580 families (8,000 people) have been assisted by the Government. The PAHO Belize country office and HQ EOC continue to monitor and report on the situation, as necessary.
Mexico - Update 11 August 2016
Tropical Storm Earl made landfall on August 6, 2016 in eastern Mexico, south of the State of Veracruz, after crossing through Belize and Northern Guatemala. Because of the heavy rains caused by Earl, the death toll rose to 41, of whom 18 were children. Authorities reported at least 11 people dead in the state of Veracruz, 29 dead in the state of Puebla, and 1 dead in Hidalgo. Additionally, 8,000 people were affected by floods and landslides and over 1, 650 houses have been affected in Veracruz and Puebla. The Mexican Ministry of National Defense activated its plan of rescue and evacuated 1,700 families to shelters in Veracruz and Puebla. Ongoing risks due to heavy rains persist in the highlands and hillsides. Civil Protection authorities are performing impact assessments and will report the needs of the communities in the following days. A Damage Assessment Committee from the Natural Disasters Fund will be assembled in Puebla to conduct assessments and quantify the recovery resources necessary. A state of emergency has been declared in a total of 11 municipalities in four states: Puebla, Chiapas, Guerrero, and Baja California due to heavy rains and severe flooding.