Update info

Updated every Friday.

Friday, February 21, 2014

February 21, 2014

What happened this week?

Bolivia. Flood situation update (Oct.2013-Feb. 20, 2014). 57 deaths, 11 people missing. 58,691 families affected in 143 municipalities in total.  Overflow of contaminated lagoons in Riberalta. Risk of overflow of Mamoré and Movocí rivers in Trinidad. Loss of 42,000 pieces of cattle in Beni and Pando. 91 health brigades from the Ministry of Health have provided care to 25,929 people. International assistance sent by United Nations, Argentina, Venezuela and Italy provided tents, purifying tablets and mobilization of military... Read more

Are these floods a new phenomenon? Could we blame Global warming for these floods? A historic review suggest that maybe not… Read more 

Barbados: Earthquake. A magnitude-6.5 earthquake struck northeast of Barbados early Tuesday, jolting thousands from their sleep but causing no reported damage or casualties… Read more

Read more about the recent earthquakes near The Caribbean and Central America.

Interesting Facts

Tierra del Fuego. The architect Michael Reynolds and 50 volunteers built a house in Ushuaia, Argentina using tires, bottles, cans, among other recyclable materials. The house - called Earth Ship - is the first of its type in South America. Reynolds states that this typology is not only sustainable but also it has been used in Haiti, India and New Mexico as part of post-disaster reconstruction efforts… Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Santa Monica to ID vulnerable buildings, order earthquake retrofits
Santa Monica will become the first city in California to inspect concrete, steel and wood-frame buildings and require seismic retrofitting for those deemed vulnerable during a major earthquake Read more 

Chile. Four years after the F-27 Earthquake, ONEMI gets ready for a new National Policy on Disaster Risk Reduction… Read more

First Maritime Award of the Americas
The award  is aimed to recognize successful practices that demonstrate excellence, innovation, and sustainability in the Maritime and Port Sectors. 

One of the award's categories  is "Disaster Mitigation and Management in Ports", which seeks to recognize best practices that result in disaster reduction, loss of life and property.

Read more about eligibility and deadlines. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

February 14, 2014

What happened this week?

United States winter storm "Pax" 
625,000 power outages occurred across 16 states and the District of Columbia , and at least 16 deaths have been blamed on the storm that left up to 24" of snow in New York, Maryland and Massachusetts. ...Read more

Bolivia Floods Situation Update (Oct 13'-Feb 14, 14')
Total 55,645 affected families in 133 municipalities, 55 deaths, and 11 people missing. Impact increased in Beni including aerial evacuation in Puerto Almacén, water and electrical services interrupted and need for food in Reyes and Rurrenabaque...Read more

Interesting Facts

Disaster Distress Helpline provides crisis counseling 
Rockville, MD. The Disaster Distress Helpline provides immediate counseling to anyone who needs help in dealing with the damage caused by the winter storms in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern states. Sponsored by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Helpline immediately connects callers to trained and caring professionals from the closest crisis counseling center in the nationwide network of centers...Read more

Natural Disasters Bring Risk of Fungal Infections
Natural disasters can create conditions that put survivors at risk for fungal infections, which are often overlooked, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters can displace harmful fungi from their natural habitat, potentially bringing them into contact with injured and vulnerable people, the report said. ...Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

How to harness technology and collaboration to boost disaster risk reduction 
Through the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, the World Bank has launched an initiative designed to harness cutting-edge technology for disaster risk management. The Code for Resilience involves a series of event called "hackathons" in major cities and seeks to engage members of civil society and the private sector in the cause...Read more 

Drought and forests: Managing California forests is crucial to water supply and quality
2013 was a year of record drought and wildfires in California, and the risks of droughts and wildfires are only expected to increase in the coming years. Although there are no easy answers, understanding the relationship between healthy forests and downstream water supply should be part of the solution. The connection between high-intensity wildfires and water quality is quantifiable and real. Reduced vegetation cover in burned areas can lead to flooding, soil erosion, changes to water temperature, and sedimentation. ...Read more   

Saturday, February 8, 2014

February 7, 2014

What happened this week?

Ecuadorian Tungurahua Volcano Increases Activity 
Ecuador's Risk Management Secretariat keeps on orange alert the areas surrounding Tungurahua volcano, which has increased its activity in the last few hours with explosions, ash, plumes, and pyroclastic flows... Read more

Bolivia Floods Situation Update (Oct 2013-up to date)
Heavy rainfall and consequent floods and river overflows have affected a total of  37,600 families in all nine departments of Bolivia and killed 31 people countrywide...Read more

Interesting Facts

Pillowcase Project -  Preparing Students for Disasters 
The American Red Cross and the Global Disaster Preparedness Center are partnering to prepare school-age children for the next disaster. Using pillowcases and other culturally appropriate containers to hold emergency items like flashlights and bottled water, Red Cross staff and volunteers will teach life-saving preparedness lessons to students around the world... Read more

Global Innovation Challenge: First 72 Hours 
The first 72 hours after a disaster are critical. UNICEF and Socialab are looking for innovators from all over the world with ideas for the first 72 hours after a humanitarian disaster. Solutions should focus on communications & information, water & food, health and energy... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Americas parliament lays down resilience law 
Panama, 30 January 2014 – Latin America has taken a step towards mainstreaming disaster risk reduction into national development policy instruments and poverty reduction strategies. The Latin American Parliament has adopted a protocol on disaster risk management that obliges its 23 member states to incorporate guiding principles of building resilience into existing or emerging legislation... Read more

Issue Brief on Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development : Destruction of assets and livelihoods in disasters set back hard-won 
development gains and worsen poverty
New York, 6-10 January 2014 - Experts associated with the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) programme for the Seventh Session of the UN General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals have revealed that disasters, development and 
poverty are intimately linked...Read more