Update info

Updated every Friday.

Friday, August 28, 2015

August 28, 2015

What happened this week?

Dominica: Tropical Storm Erika. Twenty people are reported dead and severe flooding causing mudslides. Damage to the infrastructure reported in Grand Bay and Bath Estate, landslides destroying houses in Good Hope and Kings Hill. Canefield Airport is under water and Melville Hall airport inoperable. Roseau has been heavily impacted by the swollen rivers. Communications land and cell phones are down... Read More

Argentina: Buenos Aires Province, Municipality of Pila. 70% of the municipality is under water. Throughout the province, 800, 000 hectares are already affected. Flood affects seriously the agricultural activities... Read More

Colombia: Department of Tolima. Up to 8000 rises the number of acres burned by fires; a maximum alert is maintained in the region. The department authorities called to the mayors to take measures and actions to prevent wildfire and campaigns to preserve water... Read More

United States of America: 
  • Washington. Wildfires. The massive fire burning in north-central Washington is the largest in state history. Officials are still trying to determine how many homes and other structures have been burned. About 1,250 people are battling the fires... Read More
  • California. Wildfires. Fire near California Ski Resort in Southern California's San Bernardino Mountains is threatening at least 400 homes. The fire has burned 100 acres and is 30 percent contained. Evacuation orders are in place for up to 500 homes and all schools within the Bear Valley Unified School District are closed... Read More
Panama: Provinces of Panama and Colon. Rains: 108 persons and 31 homes were affected following the heavy rains that triggered floods, landslides, collapse of streets, fall of retaining walls and rescue missions. The joint task force continues to distribute humanitarian aid to people affected by the flood in Colon... Read More

Puerto Rico: Drought update. The rains generated by the remnants of hurricane Danny benefited primarily the reservoirs of Carraízo and Rio Blanco, although still not out of critical condition. Rationing plans continue... Read More

Interesting Facts

What’s behind the spike in earthquake activity Oklahoma has seen this year? A little over eight months into the year, Oklahoma has broken a new yearly record for earthquakes... Read More

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

International Course. SIG for Modeling Climate Risks and Managing Natural Disasters. The focus is training participants in the use of SIG tools applied to the modeling of climate risks and managing natural disasters... Read More

How 10 Years Have Changed Disaster Preparedness and Response. Over the last ten years, the American Red Cross and other disaster response organizations have taken the lessons of Katrina and applied new thinking and new technology to better prepare for and respond to natural disasters... Read More

Friday, August 21, 2015

August 21, 2015

What happened this week?

Ecuador declares state of emergency as mighty Cotopaxi stirs. Ecuador's President Rafael Correa declared a state of emergency Saturday as the dangerous Cotopaxi volcano rumbled to life and prompted evacuation orders in several villages threatened by landslides... Read More

Cuba on edge as drought worsens. Cuba put its civil defense system on alert on Monday due to a year-long drought that is forecast to worsen in the coming months and has already damaged agriculture and left more than a million people relying on trucked-in water... Read More

Brazil. Drought. The Secretary of Civil Protection has declared an emergency due to flash floods for the municipalities of Espinosa and Jequita (State of Mina Gerais) and Marquinho... Read More

Colombia. Department of Norte Santander. A wildfire affected the rural areas of Hacari and La Playa as a result of bombings by military operations. The wildfire has affected a water source which is used by 10 families... Read More

United States of America. 
  • Washington: Twisp River Fire, mandatory and voluntary evacuations for 2,600 people; 3 fatalities, 4 injuries, 7 shelters open, 1,500 acres burned and 1,200 structures threatened... Read More
  • California: Wildfires. There are 16 wildfires burning in California with more than 10,000 firefighters battling the fire. The Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area was evacuated as well as 2,500 visitors and employees from Kings Canyon National Park...  Read More
  • Oregon: A wildfire in eastern Oregon has destroyed 36 homes and is threatening 500 more. The fire has burned 48,201 acres and is 10 percent contained. Mandatory evacuations for 50 remained in effect... Read More
  • Idaho: wildfire. Clearwater Complex. Mandatory evacuation to 400 people 114 structures destroyed 44 homes among them, 1670 structures threaten and 39,200 acres burned... Read More

Uruguay. Floods. Until now there is a total of 6611 people displaced throughout the country (442 evacuated and 6169 auto evacuated) and 5 national roads cut off in different areas. The most affected departments are Durazno and Treina y Tres... Read More
Interesting Facts

Hurricane Katrina timeline – how the disaster unfolded 10 years ago. Hurricane Katrina was one of the most deadly storms to ever hit America’s shores. It killed approximately 1,800 people, cost billions in property damage and displaced more than 400,000 residents... Read More

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

WHO thanks health workers on World Humanitarian Day 2015. On this 12th World Humanitarian Day, 19 August, WHO is drawing the world’s attention to the contributions and sacrifices of health workers who respond to humanitarian crises. More than a decade since the first World Humanitarian Day, the demands on emergency responders are unprecedented, with 82.5 million people in 37 countries needing humanitarian assistance. The costs, too, are unprecedented, reaching an estimated US$20 billion... Read More

The next drought: Water officials endorse a 'less is more' strategy for the future.  A sprawl of sewage treatment plants, recharge basins and desalination facilities.  A collection of slender, solar-powered telemetry towers rising from an almond orchard to bring high-tech efficiency to irrigation... Read More

LA 'black ball' reservoir rollout potential 'disaster' in the making, say experts. LA's scheme to cover a reservoir under 96 million "shade balls" may not be all it is touted to be. The balls would create a surface layer that would block 300 million gallons from evaporating amid the state's crippling drought and save taxpayers $250 million... Read More

Friday, August 14, 2015

August 14, 2015

What happened this week?

Argentina: Around 30,000 people have been affected by the floods in Buenos Aires. The Quilmes River overflowed and is continuing to rise. In the meantime SMN predicts heavy rainfall to the north of Buenos Aires, and southern-central area of Entre River and southern-central area of Santa Fe... Read More

Chile: Regions of Arica and Parinacota and los Ríos; Floods, frontal system. Heavy rains leave five people dead and 934 affected. At the same time, regional directorates of ONEMI reported seven homes destroyed and 215 with more damage. About 38000 people without power... Read More

El Salvador: Municipality of La Alegria, seismic swarm. Close to 84 earthquakes attributed to the activation of local geological faults in the area. Slight injuries in three persons, 69 housing disabled by damage to the walls and 23 more homes with slight damage... Read More

Bolivia: Department of Cochabamba; about 48 fires are affecting 700 hectares of grasslands, forests, and pine trees in various areas of the department. At least 45 sources of fire of have been reported, primarily affecting Tunari National Park... Read More

United States: 
  • The Animus River in Colorado has turned orange due to 3 million gallons of pollutants that were accidently dumped into the river by a team at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Officials believe that the spill carried metals- from the mine into a creek that flows into the Animus River. Cities in New Mexico are also at risk as the polluted river flows into the San Juan River. The Governor of Colorado has declared a state-of-disaster emergency on Monday. EPA is currently conducting assessments of water quality and is determining the impact on wildlife... Read More
  • Kentucky: A Major Disaster Declaration has been approved for the state of Kentucky due to severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, flooding, and mudslides... Read More
Cuba: Specialists from the Institute of Hydraulic Resources in Pinar del Rio say that the province is experiencing its worst drought in 50 years. According to Tele Pinar, on average Cuba’s westernmost territory receives 785 mm of rain, however from January to July of this year, only 534 mm were recorded. Livestock and various crops are suffering due to the drought and experts say that there is no provision for improvements in the rates of rainfall... Read More

Panama: A State of Emergency has been declared for Panama due to impacts of El Nino. Authorities have ordered the creation of a High Commission of Water Security. The State of Emergency will last until 60 days after the indicators of the World Meteorological Organization on El Nino indicate the temperature of the equatorial tropical Pacific Ocean is below 0.5 ˚C. Water restrictions have been put in place... Read More
Interesting Facts

Science helps to reduce flood risk around the world: Nnew computer models that estimate the social and economic impacts of flooding are helping in the fight to protect people from devastating floods, and to reduce the economic losses associated with them... Read More

U.S. flood risk could be worse than we thought: A new study looks at what happens when storm surge occurs at the same time as high rain fall... Read More

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

ACS in the greater Caribbean: The Challenge of Small Island Developing States: Barbados, Mauritius, Samoa and beyond... Read More

How to improve flood resilience: There are a host of ways in which we can enhance flood resilience. Improved assessment and communications of the risks would help people make better choice and take mitigating actions... Read More

Friday, August 7, 2015

August 7, 2015

What happened this week?

Honduras: Two million people living in the so-called dry corridor of Central America face a prolonged drought that threatens to turn into a humanitarian and food security crisis on a large scale. The Panama regional office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) expressed concern about the situation and warned of these risks... Read More

Puerto Rico: Drought. July was the driest month in history. Reservoir levels continue to drop. 83.17% of the island is under drought conditions. According to an expert, half the water received, some 400 million gallons/day is lost. A joint operation for reservoirs and wells to be more cost-effective as well as securing resources to maintain the system and minimize losses has been proposed... Read More

Bolivia. Department of La Paz. 500 families affected in the municipalities of Ulla Ulla, Quime, and Escoma Heladas. Roofs on houses were damaged by winds. There is also a report of llamas and alpacas that have died in Escoma due to the cold weather... Read More

Canada: In Teviotdale, Ontario on Sunday, an EF-2 tornado tore the roof off a home and damaged another as a result of the intense storms that spread across southern Ontario, downed power lines and trees were also reported... Read More

United States: 

  • State of California State: wild Fire, the counties of Lake, Yolo, and Colusa have declared mandatory evacuations for 1,478 residents due to the Rocky Fire. 6,959 structures have been threatened 3 have been damaged, and 50 have been destroyed... Read More
  • Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands: Soudelor has made landfall directly over Saipan (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CMNI)). CNMI public health reports that 20-30 people have been injured but there are no fatalities. There is widespread damage, 48,000 residents remain without power and primary power plants have been damaged... Read More

Chile:  Strong winds with the strength of a tornado caused power outages and trees to fall on public roads yesterday night in San Carlos... Read More

Interesting Facts
Climate change skeptics may be about to lose one of their favorite arguments. Whenever you point to melting ice in polar regions, climate change doubters or skeptics have an answer. Ice floating atop the seas around Antarctica, they point out, is growing — and that’s not what you would expect from global warming, right?... Read More

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Apple, GM, Google and the $140 billion pledge to combat climate change. In preparation of COP21, officials from 13 of America’s largest companies including Apple, Walmart, and Goldman Sachs gathered with Secretary of State John Kerry at the White House to announce a $140 billion pledge in low-carbon investments... Read More

Study outlines ways to reduce El Niño flood risk while protecting natural habitat. A team of scientists from UC Santa Cruz and the Nature Conservancy has published a study that provides a method for the state to reduce the risk of flooding, save coastal buildings and structures, and preserve habitat...  Read More