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Updated every Friday.

Friday, May 3, 2013

May 3, 2013

What happened this week?

Bolivia. Three macro regions reported effects of drought which put 13 000 hectares in danger

The Director of Departmental Service of Agriculture (SEDAG), Ruben Paichucama, said on Tuesday that three macro regions reported effects of drought and announced that at least 13,000 hectares of crops are at risk. These areas are being affected by multiple factors including dry soil and transpiration, seepage problems because of the heat sources, the characteristic clay of their land, increasing soil degradation, and erosion by high temperatures.
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Colombia. A winter emergency has affected 300 families in Antioquia

A total of 25 houses and about 80 people were evacuated due to a winter landslide located in the east of Medellin near the highway to Alto de Santa Elena. Fortunately zero victims were injured. Also in east Antioquia intense rains had affected 223 people and left 13 families without homes. For the 13 families who lost everything the Red Cross handed hygiene and kitchen kits, while the Dapard and the Municipal Council of Risk Management, provided blankets and food.
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Argentina. The city of La Plata implements a preventive operation against rain alert
On Wednesday morning, city staff tour the neighborhoods of the city of La Plata to warn neighbors about the scope of the governing rainfall alert for today. Inspectors visited the city, especially the neighborhoods that were most affected by the tragic flood on April 2, 2013. The municipal offices were scheduled to open all day; along with municipal officers patrolling on foot and in vehicles.
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What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

USA. The U.S. White House recognizes Steve Birnbaum, the Global VSAT Forum (GVF) Chairman of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HA/DR) Programs for his efforts during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012

Steve Birnbaum was honored for providing expert and innovative assistance that enabled a locally-driven community response through the use of High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) communications during the Hurricane Sandy relief operations. Applying his knowledge of satellite communications, Mr. Birnbaum helped implement FEMA’s“Whole of Community” approach to disaster response, which articulates that an effective response to a disaster requires the participation of the entire community, and that robust communication networks catalyze optimal response and recovery by providing both survivors and community leaders access to information and resources.

Barbados. With the approaching hurricane season, the Barbados Advocate stresses 'Be Disaster Ready'
Some experts have predicted an above-normal hurricane season for this year and with the heavy and persistent showers being experienced in the last few weeks, we are reminded that the hurricane season will very soon be upon us. In fact, it is just four short weeks away, with an official start of June 1. It can only be hoped that after so many years of being sensitized to the necessary preparations, homeowners and businesses now have an established routine when it comes to preparing for the hurricane season. Equally important are preparations made on a longer timeline, such as purchasing home insurance and for businesses, making provision for off-site and/or digital storage, for example.

USA. The Next Government Spending Crisis: Disaster Relief
A new analysis from the Center for American Progress (CAP) finds that the federal government spent $136 billion on disaster relief from fiscal 2011 to 2013. “Combined, these extreme weather events were responsible for 1,107 fatalities and up to $188 billion in economic damages,” the report says. However, government agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Office of Management and Budget have failed to keep comprehensive tabs on the total levels of disaster-relief spending, the CAP report found, making it harder to properly budget for such spending.
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