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Updated every Friday.

Friday, December 2, 2016

December 2, 2016


By Pablo Gonzalez

One of the main challenges that policy and decision makers face in the reconstruction of critical infrastructure lies in the urgency that is required to get vital systems and services up and running. That is the case of roads and bridges, needed to reestablish access to most affected communities that become isolated and in need of assistance; and hospitals that not only need to be operational but accessible to treat the injured and those who need urgent care. But also water systems, energy plants and grids, tele-communication networks and schools; and often, ports and airports, to ensure delivery of disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, domestic or international. That urgency often results in rehabilitating or rebuilding damaged infrastructure back worse, not better. Furthermore, reducing the vulnerability of critical infrastructure requires risk-based zoning and close institutional collaboration and coordination for data sharing and for integrating risk assessments into land use planning and the development of building codes, as well as the implementation of construction quality assurance (CQA) and construction quality control (CQC) systems. Last November 17th, an expert panel examined these challenges at a special meeting of the OAS Permanent Council and the Committee on Hemispheric Security... Read more

What happened this week?

Caribbean. Floods in Barbados, Saint Lucia, and Dominica: Severe flooding from heavy rainfall has been impacting Barbados, Saint Lucia, and Dominica. A flood warning is ongoing for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Conditions in these countries are expected to worsen. Furthermore, residents living in landslide prone areas along the riverbanks are at risk, due to the already saturated nature of the soils. Landslides have already been reported, destroying 15 homes and damaging 30... Read more

Costa Rica. Update on Hurricane Otto: Institutions prepare a damage report for the rehabilitation stage. Two cantons remain on red alert. The Government authorities maintain emergency response actions in the areas most affected by Hurricane Otto... Read more

Dominican Republic. Heavy rains continue to impact Dominican Republic- Update: Two provinces, Monte Cristi and Duarte are under a red alert. Assessments are currently ongoing and distribution of drinking water in affected communities is being carried out. Approximately 20,000 people are displaced, 4,000 homes are damaged and 69 communities are isolated... Read more

United States. Severe weather have caused at least 5 deaths in several states: Five people have been killed in Alabama and Tennessee, as storms bearing suspected tornadoes affected the South early Wednesday. In addition to the reported fatalities, at least 7 people were injured and more than 20 building were destroyed in Roslie, Alabama. While in Tennessee and Mississippi at least 9 people have been injured, and several building and power lines have been damaged... Read more

Tennessee, US: Gatlinburg fires continue to blaze: Three people have died from the wildfire that scorched roughly 15,000 acres. The wildfire spread from the great Smoky Mountain into inhabited areas of Sevier County. More than 250 buildings in the county are damaged or destroyed... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

At tsunami summit, high school students commit to curb risk. Hundreds of high school students from around the world have pledged to step up efforts to reduce disaster risk, at a global gathering held to mark the first edition of World Tsunami Awareness Day... Read more

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