Update info

Updated every Friday.

Friday, March 28, 2014

March, 28, 2014

What happened this week?
Washington State, USA. Landslide: 14 deaths, 13 injured, at least 108 missing. Sixteen homes destroyed and flooding has affected others. Two shelters house 28 people. U.S. President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency Monday, freeing up federal funds for a major rescue effort, according to Washington state officials... Read More

Interesting Facts
Ginebra. Natural disasters caused losses of USD 140 000 million in 2013. According to a study released Wednesday by Swiss reinsurer Swiss Re, and around 26,000 people lost their lives as a result of disasters in 2013....Read More

10 riskiest metropolitan areas in the world. What is the opposite of a sustainable city? For insurance companies it quantifies to the riskiest. Insurance company SwissRe has calculated the 10 riskiest metropolitan areas in the world by assessing the largest 616 of them, and the risks to their inhabitants... Read More.

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?
Latin American and Caribbean Rally: “Schools with a Sustainable Future” Register your school now!  (Download the brochure in Spanish and English, and click here for information in Spanish)

The Rally is a competition that seeks to highlight the best strategies in education, action, and social impact among all schools in Latin America and the Caribbean in the areas of energy efficiency, water management, healthy food production, carbon reduction, and sustainable waste management.

There will be one winner of the "Live with Hope Award: Innovation for Sustainability" for each of the categories, and they will represent Latin America in the 2015 International Green Award in the UK. Additionally, the 10 best proposals in each category will be showcased in the framework of the Meeting of Latin American and Caribbean Leaders in Education, Science, and Technology for Sustainability, to be held November 2014.

The OAS invites all Latin American and Caribbean schools to register, participate, and become the leaders of change that Latin America needs in order to develop sustainably.
Register your school now! ... Read More

Friday, March 21, 2014

March 21, 2013

What happened this week?
Chile. No victims or damages reported after an earthquake of 6.5 magnitude with an epicenter 20 km deep. Response: Activation of emergency plans in hospitals, although they did not need to be implemented. Alert for possible minor tsunami; preventive evacuation of more than 100,000 people in coastal areas between Arica and Tocopilla, Isla de Más Afuera and San Andrés... Read More. 

BrazilFloods in Rondonia, Acre, Amazonas and Pará update. (20 Feb- 21 Mar). 3,100 families affected in Porto Velho. Madeira river level has increased. The Government of Rondonia will set up a shelter so that schools can be vacated... Read More  

Interesting Facts
Was the Los Angeles Earthquake Caused by Fracking? Was the 4.4-magnitude earthquake that rattled Los Angeles Monday morning caused by fracking methods? It's hard to say, but what's clear that the quake's epicenter was just eight miles from a disposal well where oil and gas wastewater is being injected underground at high pressure... Read More

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?
Future flood losses in major coastal cities: Flood exposure is increasing in coastal cities owing to growing populations and assets, the changing climate, and subsidence. With no adaptation, the projected increase in average losses by 2050 is huge, with aggregate losses increasing to more than US$1 trillion per year...In the absence of adaptation, the impact of environmental change is much larger than the effect of socioeconomic change. These numbers should not be considered as predictions, but they demonstrate the need for adaptation, because inaction would result in unacceptably high losses.” ... Read More

Friday, March 14, 2014

March, 14, 2014

What happened this week?
Bolivia. Flood (Oct 2013-Mar.14 ). Total: Nearly 68,000 families have been affected since January. 10,000 families displaced; in Beni, 4,038 families are in 99 shelters. Floods have left 17 communities isolated in La Paz. 842 confirmed cases of dengue (35% less than in the same period in 2013); The government is prioritizing their response in Guayamerin (Beni) and Nueva Esperanza (Pando)...Read More

BrasilFloodTotal: more than 22,000 affected in Amazonas, 10,000 in Acre and 11,000 people affected in six municipalities in Rondonia. 470 families are in 42 shelters. State government response: increase shelter capacity in Porto Velho, declare emergency. Air transport of gravely ill patients and medical supplies...Read More.

Interesting Facts
Scientific panel dismissed suggestions that a slowdown of surface temperatures is a sign global warming isn't happening.  Last's week article about volcanoes stated that there is a warming ‘hiatus', while the National science academies of USA and UK say warming is ‘unequivocal’ and recommend urgent action...Read More.

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Project to reduce risk in Jamaica. A 38-month project aimed at assisting in strengthening Jamaica’s ability to adapt to the effects of climate change, and reducing the likely risks has been concluded. The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) expressed satisfaction with the outcomes...Read More.

Key research lessons in South Asia. about mainstreaming climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in South Asia: mainstreaming, planning (not only response), Networks for action, and more...Read More

IBM and Aecom join UN campaign to make cities resilient. (Geneva). The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is working with IBM and global planning, design and engineering firm AECOM to measure cities’ resilience to disasters.The first fruit of the partnership is an innovative Disaster Resilience Scorecard created for use by members of UNISDR’s “Making Cities Resilient” campaign...Read More.

Friday, March 7, 2014

March 7, 2014

What happened this week?
Bolivia. Flood situation update (Oct.2013-7 March, 2014) Total 
60 deaths and 60,000 families affected. High risk of floods in Guayamerin (Beni). 439 cases of dengue confirmed, 2,161 suspected and one death in Santa Cruz..Read more

Chile. String of earthquakes  whose magnitudes ranged between 5.4 and 3 was recorded this week in the central region of Chile with epicenters located in the area of San Antonio. ONEMI and University of Chile Seismology Department stated that this activity is not a swarm...Read More.

Obituary:Michel Lechat, Belgian epidemiologist and pioneer figure in Disaster Studies, died February 28, 2014. He was a professor of the Catholic University of Leuven, Bruxelles; The John Hopkins University, Baltimore; consultant and fellow for the National Institute of Health (NIH), USA; consultant for the PAHO, OMS, World Bank and UN ; and he was director of the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), among other positions...Read more

Interesting Facts
Study: Volcanoes contribute to recent warming ‘hiatus’. MIT researchers find models must account for volcanic eruptions to accurately predict climate change...Read more

3-Story Floating School in Nigeria Rides on Recycled Barrels. The Makoko Floating School is a working prototype designed to address local needs “in view of the impact of climate change and a rapidly urbanizing African context.” … Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Video: Stanford simulations show offshore wind farms could tame hurricanes. Computer simulations by Stanford's Mark Jacobson indicate huge offshore wind farms could significantly reduce wind speed and storm surge from major hurricanes … Read more

Building within the scaffolding: the architecture of the new Hyogo Framework for Action . The new framework for DRR will develop the current strategy rather than start a new, said the UN Special Representative on Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström... Read More.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February 28, 2014

Featured this week:
  • Floods in Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay. 
  • 4th Anniversary of the 2010 Earthquake in Chile: articles, photo gallery, best practices and news on reconstruction.
  • International Cooperation on Disaster Recovery: St. Lucia & Chile.

What happened this week?

Bolivia. Flood situation update (Oct.2013-Feb.27, 2014) 59 deaths and 59,800 families affected. 370 families cut off from communication in 9 communities in Puerto Villarroel (Cochabamba). 2,537 families sheltered in Riberalta and 400 families isolated by affected roads in San Javier. Epidemiological situation under control. Six rivers on red alert. International assistance from Brazil and China... Read more

Brazil. Floods in Acre and Rondonia (24-28 Feb). 1,820 families are sheltered in Porto Velho and 14 districts in Rondonia, and 331 in Rio Branco (Acre). Emergency declared in Acre.... Read more

Paraguay. Floods (25-28 Feb). One death and 1,187 families affected in 4 municipalities. 150 families are sheltered in Luque... Read more

4th Anniversary of the 2010 Earthquake in Chile


Chile earthquake bill: US$4bn in reconstruction since 2010. The resources has been allocated to rebuild homes, bridges, hospitals, roads and historic buildings following the earthquake and tsunami that battered the country four years ago...Read More.

Piñera backs up the reconstruction figures after 4 years from the 2010 earthquake. The president recalled that the reconstruction process after the 2010 earthquake reached 97% of the homes destroyed...Read More.

Bachelet praises reconstruction after earthquake in Chile but criticizes "political use" of tragedy. She said that (Pinera's) Government has made a major reconstruction work and her government's commitment is to continue with whatever task that may be pending. Read More.

Chile President tours hard-hit quake zones. He inaugurated a housing complex that replaced one that collapsed in a massive 2010 earthquake, showcasing his reconstruction efforts during a tour of hard-hit areas...Read More

Four years after the 27-F: neoliberal and vulnerable cities (in Spanish). Chile is a country constantly hit by disasters. These characteristics make the most excluded sectors of society even more vulnerable...Read More

Photo Gallery
2010 Earthquake More.

Best Practices
Building codes saves lives: Main message on anniversary of Chile earthquake and lesson learned from NZ. Article posted in 2011 by UNISDR stressed that the strict building codes in Chile played a large part in protecting people... Read More.

Best Practice: Sustainable post-tsunami reconstruction master plan. A city of 46,000 people and proposes to respond with “geographical answers” to the “geographical threats” of the earthquake and tsunami risk... Read More.

International Cooperation:
Video. Chile Contributes to Recovery Efforts in St. Lucia More.

Major earthquake, tsunami in the Caribbean worries St Lucia prime minister, and he asks support and help of Chile. "We are going to need the support and help of Chile, because unfortunately, Chile has been a victim of earthquakes and tsunamis and has accumulated considerable experience over the last few years...Read More