Update info

Updated every Friday.

Friday, December 30, 2016

December 30, 2016

What happened this week?

Uruguay. Storm leaves one dead and 30 injured in San Carlos: A strong storm with the strength of a tornado affected the eastern part of the country, leaving one dead, and more than 30 injured, as well as downing trees and ripping off roofs. It was reported that as of yet, the city has no electricity (29,000 interrupted services). However, the two health centers in the affected area already have electrical power. The authorities are conducting damage assessments in the city. The 30 injures persons have been transferred to different health centers in the Department... Read more

Brazil. 5 municipalities in Bahia and Minas Gerais declared emergencies for heavy rain and drought: The National Secretariat for Protection and Civil Defense (SEDEC) of the Ministry of National Integration declared emergency situations for five municipalities in Bahia and Minas Gerais. The affected municipalities are Jaborandi and Marilac, for heavy rains and Paulo Afonso, Piritiba, and Presidente Janio Quadros, for drought... Read more

Interesting Facts

Earthquake faults are smarter than we usually think. Researchers now have an answer to a vexing age-old question: Why do earthquakes sometimes come in clusters? The research team has developed a new computer model and discovered that earthquake faults are smarter -- in the sense of having better memory -- than seismologists have long assumed... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Training trainers to curb disaster risk. Dozens of disaster risk management professionals from across the Americas have been schooled in how to pass on planning skills, thanks to a programme run by UNISDR’s Global Education and Training Institute... Read more

Chile boost for business resilience. Businesses in Chile have come together to form the latest national chapter of UNISDR’s Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies... Read more

Friday, December 23, 2016

December 23,2016

What happened this week?

Ecuador. 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Esmeraldas Province: Early this morning, December 19, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake was registered in the coasts of Atacames, Esmeraldas. According to the Geophysics Institute, 27 aftershocks with magnitudes between 2.9 and 4.2 have been registered in the same area. The earthquake was felt in the provinces of Guayas, Manabi, Pichincha and Santo Domingo. INOCAR dismissed necessary conditions to generate a tsunami in the coast of Ecuador. Classes were suspended in Esmeraldas and water pumps were closed as a preventive measure in Esmeraldas, Atacames and Rioverde. The provincial EOC has been activated and the local authorities together with the Army are attending the injured and surveilling the affected area. The damage assessment will be done by the Risk Management Secretariat and other institutions. According to latest report there have been 2 deaths, 10 injured, 20 damaged and 5 collapsed buildings. All health facilities are functional, the Hospital Juan Carlos Guasti in Atacames reported minor damage to its infrastructure... Read more

Bolivia. 600 families affected by overflowing of rivers in the Tropical Area: The overflowing of the Sajta and Chimoré Rivers in the municipalities of Puerto Villaroel and Chimoré, in the tropical area of Cochabamba, has affected 627 families and hundreds of hectares of crop fields. The communities affected by the flooding are: Puerto Villaroel, Manantal A, Tarija, Israel A, Sorpresa and Sajta Palmar Villa Victoria, Independencia, San Marcos and Puerto Chimoré... Read more

Interesting Facts

Tectonic shift? Study of olivine provides new data for measuring Earth's surface.
A recent study provides a new data set that scientists can use to better understand plate tectonics -- the movement of the earth's outer layer. Specifically, it contributes to understanding how plates are defined and measured, which is critical for developing computer models and predicting earthquake and volcano activity... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Mercocities focus on building resilience.A network of hundreds of cities across South America has pledged to step up regional efforts to reduce disaster risk and boost sustainable development... Read more

Friday, December 16, 2016

December 16, 2016

What happened this week?

Nicaragua. Departments affected by the rainy season: Authorities reported that four departments of the country are being affected by the rains in the past days in the Southern Caribbean. 34 communities and 935 people have been affected by the low pressure system causing the Escondido River level to increase... Read more

Peru. Lack of rain causes loss of crops: The National Institute for Civil Defense (INDECI) reported that the lack of rain since October in the Amazonas area destroyed 5,253 hectares of crops and affected another 6,613. In addition, 3,645 hectares of vegetation were destroyed and 548 hectares affected. The Regional Directorate of Agriculture is performing the Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis in the affected localities... Read more

Bolivia. The Chuquisaca Prevention and Risk Assessment Department reported that 43,667 families were affected by natural disasters during 2016, with a higher incidence in the last two months due to the drought and strong rains in this region. The authorities informed that out of the 43,677 families, the Civil Defense and the local government has taken care of 36,743 families. The rest of the families will be attended to, including the affected ones in the Camargo municipality, who are recovering from a hail storm... Read more

Colombia. 77 people were rescued from a blocked road in Boyacá due to a landslide: The Civil Defense reported that 77 people have been rescued after 40 hours of being trapped in an emergency zone due to two severe landslides caused by the strong rains in the north sector of Boyacá, close to the borderlines with Arauca. No injuries or damage to nearby structures have been reported... Read more

Second winter season leaves 44 dead: The Management Unit for Irrigation (UNGRD) reported, that during the second winter period, floods and sudden floods brought 490 emergencies among landslides, floods and flash floods, which caused the deaths of 44 people and injured 32, none are missing. IDEAM reports that the rainy season extends until mid-December. Families left homeless by the storm amount to 48,513 in 312 municipalities over 28 departments... Read more

Interesting Facts

Quake-detection app captured nearly 400 temblors worldwide. A crowdsourced earthquake network using Android phones and the MyShake app has since February 2016 detected nearly 400 temblors worldwide, with one of the most active areas of the world the oil-drilling areas of Oklahoma. The app, downloaded almost 220,000 times, has sent back seismic waveform data that allows quite accurate assessment of magnitude and location, suitable for early warming: one of the main goals of the project... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Buenos Aires joins resilient cities network. 
Argentina’s Buenos Aires province has joined UNISDR’s Making Cities Resilient campaign, marking an important step in efforts to protect its population of almost 17 million people from natural and human-induced hazards... Read more

Friday, December 9, 2016

December 9, 2016

What happened this week?

Peru. A state of emergency has been declared in more than half of the country: On December 7 a state of emergency was declared in more than half of the country (18 of 25 regions) due to an acute drought that is affecting most of the coastal and Andean region. This emergency will last 60 days, during which the Central Government will implement immediate response and risk reduction actions to avoid damage to the agricultural sector and water shortenings... Read more

Dominican Republic. A state of emergency has been declared in more than half of the country: On December 7 a state of emergency was declared in more than half of the country (18 of 25 regions) due to an acute drought that is affecting most of the coastal and Andean region. This emergency will last 60 days, during which the Central Government will implement immediate response and risk reduction actions to avoid damage to the agricultural sector and water shortenings... Read more

Bolivia. Storms cause the death of 8 persons: The Civil Defense reported that up to as of the current date, storms, strong rains, and floods have killed eight people in Tomina, Chuquisaca, and La Paz Departments and have affected more than 614 families in the same areas... Read more

Guatemala. People affected by cold wave search refuge: 10 shelters are currently assisting a total of 516 people, of which 508 are in the Guatemala Department. 5 departments, Jutiapa, Alta Verapaz, San Marcos, Totonicapán and Guatemala, have established shelters to provide refuge during the cold season... Read more

Interesting Facts

Study offers coastal communities better way to prepare for devastating storms. With massive coastal storms on the rise, a new study describes a method for stakeholders in vulnerable communities to be involved in preparing for, absorbing, recovering and adapting from devastation... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Peru harnesses private sector for resilience. Peru is harnessing the power of business to reduce the impacts of natural and human-induced hazards, thanks to the creation of a national chapter of the UNISDR Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies... Read more

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

Friday, November 25, 2016

November 25, 2016

What happened this week?

Costa Rica. Tropical Storm Otto kills at least 9 in Costa Rica: The death toll from Tropical Storm Otto, downgraded from hurricane status, is rising. In Costa Rica, the storm killed at least nine people in the communities of Bagaces and Upala and forced 6,000 people into shelters, authorities said Friday... Read more

Bolivia. National state of emergency declared due to drought: Bolivia’s government declared a state of emergency on Monday, November 21, due to water shortages in large areas of the country due to the worst drought see in 25 years, making funds available to aid the crisis which has affected families and the agricultural sector. Bolivia’s Civil Defense estimated that the drought has affected 125,000 families and threatened 290,000 hectares (726,605 acres) of agricultural land, and 360,000 heads of cattle. The national state of emergency comes after 172 of the country’s 339 municipalities declared their own emergencies related to the drought... Read more

Dominican Republic. Civil Defense maintains preventive evacuations in different provinces: 1385 were affected (275 homes flooded), 45 families were displaced to shelters due to the drain of the Taveras dam and the overflowing of Yaque del Norte River, as well as the closure of the Yaque del Norte River bridge, Castenuelas municipality... Read more

Panama. Strong rains causing damage have been reported: The National Civil Defense System (SINAPROC) reported that strong rains have affected more than 700 people, causing 4 deaths and 3 missing people, flooding, traffic accidents and damages to dozens of houses. More than 20 responders were deployed to search for missing persons, while others perform water sanitation activities... Read more

Peru. Wildfire has affected more than a thousand hectares of land: A new wildfire was registered in the area of Querocoto, Chota province that has not been controlled yet. The Mayor has informed that more than 1000 hectares has been affected by the fire, and that electricity and telephone lines have been affected, so the area is isolated. Furthermore, two deaths due to respiratory problems have been reported. The local authorities have requested aid from the regional and central government to control the emergency since the wild fire is 10 km away from an urban area... Read more

United States. Several wild fires affecting areas of North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee: Wildfires in North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky are threatening more than 2000 people, and more than 800 homes in total.  Two shelters are in place in North Carolina and Tennessee for displaced families.  No injuries or fatalities have been reported in any of the states. The EOC in the three states have been partially activated in order to respond to these wildfires... Read more

Interesting Facts

Earth’s gravity offers earlier earthquake warnings. Tiny gravity changes can be picked up much faster than seismic waves... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Technology: the future of disaster risk reduction? Fast-paced developments in technology have the potential to help the world rein in the impact of natural and human-induced hazards, notably when it comes to tackling urban risk... Read more

Friday, November 18, 2016

November 18, 2016

What happened this week?

Bolivia. Severe effects of the drought continue: According to the National Association of Oilseed Producers (ANEPO) this year has produced a loss in different agricultural products in Eastern Bolivia. 100 schools in the Southern and Eastern areas of La Paz have been affected by the water rationing; the Ministry of Education evaluated contingency measures to conclude the school year. The College of Doctors of La Paz suggests taking microbiological samples of the water being used for consumption at schools.
The drought has severely affected Corque municipality, department of Oruro, where 70% of the populations lacks drinking water and only 30% of the territory has water sheds that are currently providing the water.
The authority of social control of water and sanitation (AAPS) declared that the water crisis is indefinite and that is shaping up in a similar way for 2017... Read more

United States.  Over 30 large fires have burned more than 80,000 acres in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky, according to the US Forest Service, which also reported that dry weather, high winds and the continuing drought, is driving the large growth of fires. Winds have carried smoke from the wildfires to cities miles away, such as Atlanta, where the air quality level was "unhealthy". The Appalachian Trail Conservancy and National Park Service placed fire restrictions, along the southern portion of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail... Read more

Dominican Republic.  As of November 15, there are 4, 142 homes flooded and 60 that are destroyed and 3 bridges affected. Nearly 22, 055 persons are taking refuge with other family members due to the heavy rains registered over the weekend in the northern part of the country. In addition, 132 communities remain isolated and currently, there are 234 people taking refuge in 4 official shelters. There are six provinces under red alert, four under yellow alert, and seven under green alert... Read more

Interesting Facts

Unbreakable. Building the resilience of the poor in the face of natural disaster. Economic losses from natural disasters totaled $92 billion in 2015, and average annual losses have been estimated at more than $300 billion a year... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Public-private partnership vital to reduce risk. The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) has called on governments, businesses and communities in island nations to work together to curb the impact of hazards stoked by climate change... Read more

Friday, November 11, 2016

November 12, 2016

What happened this week?

Dominican Republic. Rainfall continues to affect the region: As of November 11, 2016, 1021 houses have been affected and 27 have been destroyed. Approximately 5, 105 people are displaced, but are taking shelter with families. 9 communities are unreachable, 7 bridges have been affected, and 10 provinces remain on alert (2 yellow and 8 green). Two troughs are affecting the region, one located northeast of Puerto Rico and the other located southeast of the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean Sea. Both are causing heavy rainfall and winds... Read more

Colombia. Red alert at the national level due to increase in winter weather. A red alert has been declared in the lower part of the Cauca River in the Mojana sector, due to the increase in the levels of the Magdalena, Atrato, San Jorge and Cauca Rivers as heavy rain fall has been occurring. The authorities indicated that there is a likelihood of landslides in the Andean region and in the north of the country. The rains may increase Sunday and Monday in the departments of Antioquia, Eje Cafetero, Santander, Valle, Cauca, Meta and Casanare... Read more

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. A trough system has been affecting this country. Since November 9, a trough system has been affecting St Vincent and the Grenadines, which caused heavy rainfall, flash flooding, landslides and damage to more than 35 homes in the mainland. The National Emergency Council (NEC) of NEMO activated the National Emergency Operation Centre (EOC). Schools were closed; two temporary shelters provided refuge to more than 50 people. One person death, one injured and one missing have been reported. The Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) reported broken pipelines and blockages to intakes and water supply in all areas will be interrupted until further notice. There are reports of road blockages and landslides, the airport was flooded and remains closed until further notice, while the clean-up operations continue. At the moment, NEMO does not have immediate needs... Read more

Ecuador. State of Emergency declared in Galapagos due to drought: The Committee of Emergency Operations (COE) in Galapagos declared a state of emergency for the island province due to prolonged drought that has affected the sector since the beginning of the year. The decision was made to promptly meet the most affected groups and allocate resources and perform actions that diminish the impact of this water deficit... Read more

Haiti. Strong rains cause flooding in northern Haiti: In the northern area of Haiti, 10 deaths were reported, among them 3 children, after the strong rains over the weekend in the communes of Cabo Haitiano, Port de Paix, Ouanaminthe, Caracol and Ferrier... Read more

Interesting Facts

Safest locations for wastewater injection. New maps of the geologic forces contributing to earthquakes in Texas and Oklahoma could help reduce the likelihood of humanmade temblors associated with wastewater injection, say investigators... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Singapore and UNISDR boost developing countries' Sendai capacity. Singapore and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) have renewed their partnership to strengthen the disaster risk management capacity of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other developing countries that are vulnerable to natural disasters... Read more 

Friday, November 4, 2016

November 4, 2016

What happened this week?

Chile. Chile earthquake rocks Santiago with 6.4 magnitude tremor. An earthquake in Chile of 6.4 magnitude has struck near the capital of Santiago, which the country's officials have labelled a "major" seismic event... Read more

Interesting Facts

An early warning system for landslide danger. Advances in satellite imaging, mapping, and rainfall estimations have made it possible to implement a regional real-time assessment of landslide hazard threats across Central America... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Cuban experience in disaster risk management. The urgent need to prevent, reduce and control risk factors disaster in a society is a topic included in the agendas of the world's nations... Read more 

Friday, October 28, 2016

October 28, 2016

What happened this week?

Colombia. Deadly Colombia landslide engulfs highway near Medellin. A landslide on a major highway in Colombia has killed at least six people, officials said... Read more

Interesting Facts

New system could help save lives in an earthquake. Ocean Networks Canada recently installed early earthquake warning technology to help monitor earthquake activity off the coast of Vancouver Island. The first two sensors were installed roughly 200 kilometres west of Port Alberni... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

USAID announces $14 million in additional humanitarian assistance for Hurricane Matthew response.  The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) today announced an additional $14 million in humanitarian assistance to further bolster the Government of Haiti's ongoing efforts to support communities affected by Hurricane Matthew... Read more 

New Urban Agenda to reduce disaster losses. The UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Robert Glasser, has welcomed the adoption of the Habitat III New Urban Agenda as “a significant contribution to focussing attention on the risks of rapid urbanisation and the importance of taking concrete measures to build cities in a way that reduces exposure to disasters and improves the quality of life for urban dwellers”... Read more 

Friday, October 21, 2016

October 21, 2016

What happened this week?

United States. Hurricane Matthew: There are 48 confirmed deaths, and the number of people in shelters is continuing to decrease daily... Read more

Interesting Facts

Evaluating forecasting models for predicting rainfall from tropical cyclones. To help improve hurricane preparedness and mitigation efforts, new research examines how accurate current forecasting systems are in predicting rainfall from North Atlantic tropical cyclones that make landfall in the United States... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Call for innovative resilience financing to support sustainable cities. A high level panel has called for innovative approaches to increase financing so that cities become resilient to natural and man-made hazards and other shocks... Read more

Friday, October 14, 2016

October 14, 2016

What happened this week?

United States. Hurricane Matthew: US death toll from Matthew climbs to 27.
Seventeen people have died in North Carolina as a result of the storm. At least 27 US deaths have been blamed on Matthew... Read more

Cuba. 13 aqueducts have been destroyed in the municipality of Maisi. Furthermore, regarding houses, in Baracoa, 9, 210 were affected and 50 were completely destroyed; in Maisi 94% of the houses were affected; in Imias, 45% of houses were affected, in San Antonia del Sur, 33 were affected and 63 are completely destroyed; and in Moa, approximately 2,300 were affected and 163 are completely destroyed... Read more

Interesting Facts

Floods severely affect children and young people: it's time to stop ignoring their experience. Research with flood-affected children reveals serious impacts on well-being but also a desire to take on a role in flood risk management... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Involving affected communities is key to reducing disaster mortality. The risk of dying in a hurricane or flood is lower today than it was 20 years ago, in most parts of the world. In Haiti, however, the toll of Hurricane Matthew has already passed 1,000, according to media reports.The issue of how to reach countries and communities left behind and struggling to reduce their disaster mortality rates was the focus of a meeting at United Nations Headquarters, held ahead of International Day for Disaster Reduction... Read more

Prepared Peru reduces El Niño mortality. The El Niño weather phenomenon was first named by fishermen in Peru where records going back 500 years have detailed its destructive impact especially along the northern coast where it often hits hardest. When the most recent El Niño was first forecast it stirred fearful memories of the 9,300 people who lost their lives in the so-called Meganiños of 1982-83 and 1997-98 along with GDP losses of 11.6% and 6.2% respectively.Based on past experience, the Government was determined on this occasion to reduce disaster mortality significantly in line with the first target of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction... Read more

Friday, October 7, 2016

October 7, 2016

What happened this week?

Haiti. Hurricane Matthew leaves hundreds dead. At least 300 people have died since Matthew made landfall in Haiti on Tuesday as a Category 4 hurricane... Read more

Nicaragua. 145 homes affected by 5.4 magnitude earthquake. The Coordinator of Communication and Citizenship reported that the 5.4 magnitude earthquake left 145 houses affected in the municipality of La Paz Centro. It was reported that, to date, there have been 424 aftershocks where the epicenter was between two volcanos El Hoyo and Momotombo, with a depth of 2.9 km. The National System for Disaster Prevention and Assistance (SINAPRED) and the Nicaraguan Institute of Municipal Development (INIFOM) are conducting a tour in the communities surrounding the epicenter. The quake also left 6 people with minor injuries and one related fatality... Read more

Interesting Facts

High-tech future early warning system for hurricanes, tornados and volcanic eruptions. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has been able to detect a gravity wave wafting through space from two colliding black holes billions of years ago. Now a group has built a much smaller ring laser interferometer to explore how it could detect geophysical effects such as earthquake-generated ground rotation and infrasound from convective storms and have demonstrated the technology's potential as an early-warning system for natural disasters... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

#IDDR2016: Europe’s Meteolarm offers life-saving alerts. Rolled out in the wake of one of the deadliest storms to strike Europe in decades, the continent-wide weather information service Meteoalarm plays a life-saving role by raising public awareness of how to curb risks, and fosters international cooperation into the bargain... Read more

UN, World Bank, insurance sector tackle climate vulnerability. A new public-private partnership between the leaders of the United Nations, the World Bank and the insurance sector has adopted a risk management strategy that seeks to harness insurance to promote economic recovery and resilience to climate hazards and disasters... Read more

Friday, August 5, 2016

August 5, 2016

Last Tuesday, August 2nd, Secretary General Luis Almagro launched the training sessions for the implementation of the institutional policy on Disaster Risk Management, issued by executive order on April 8th 2016. 
This institutional policy informs the General Secretariat’s efforts in mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management across all its secretariats, offices, organs and dependencies as outlined in the policy paper, “Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction and Adaptation to Climate Change” 

What happened this week?

Belize: Hurricane Earl impacts Belize: Category 1 Hurricane, Earl, struck Belize early Thursday morning. The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has declared an ALL CLEAR for the country. However, major infrastructure and building damage has been reported in addition to blocked roads due to high water levels. Flash flooding has been reported in the Cayo District and communities along the Macal and Mopan Rivers have advised to seek higher ground immediately. Cleanup of the highways is in progress. 29 shelters have been made available housing 907 people... Read more

Bolivia. As of July 31, seven departments, 106 municipalities, and 160,000 people have been affected by the drought in Bolivia. In addition, over 90,000 hectares of agriculture and over 121,000 cattle have been affected. Currently, 104 municipalities have declared a state of emergency... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Korea gives US$10 million boost to Sendai Framework implementation. The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction has signed a five-year, US$10 million agreement with the Ministry of Public Safety and Security and Incheon Metropolitan City of the Republic of Korea to support education and training for disaster risk reduction... Read more

Friday, July 8, 2016

July 8, 2016


Multilateral Disaster Assistance in the Americas: A simple paradox

The Inter-American Convention to Facilitate Disaster Assistance is the only legally binding multilateral treaty in the world in matters of disaster assistance. Signed on June 7th, 1991, in Santiago de Chile, at the 21st Regular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, the Convention entered into force in 1996 with its second ratification, by Peru. Yet, more than 25 years after its adoption, only a total of six countries have ratified the Convention: Panama, Peru, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Colombia, the last one in 2013. In the meantime, the international humanitarian community and states all around the Americas and beyond continue to call for a set of rules that all can obey and can help them –assisted and assisting states, optimize their resources and coordinate their efforts, so that they can maximize the international assistance and reduce the burden of unsolicited one. Theories, conspiracy theories and others, explaining the low level of ratification are in abundance. Yet again, no one seems to have the key to its full ratification and implementation... Read more

What happened this week?

Costa Rica. Earthquake affects 20 people and damages 8 homes: A 5.1 magnitude earthquake that occurred on July 2, 2016 has caused landslides that have affected roads and damaged eight homes; structural assessments are currently ongoing as well as landslides assessments and the recovery of roads affected. An estimated 20-25 people were affected by the earthquake and are staying with families as no shelters have opened. Water and electricity were restored... Read more

Venezuela: The communities surrounding El Gamero and La Manga del Rio affected by flooding: Floods occurred in some sectors of Guasdualito in the municipality of Páez in the state of Apure on July 3rd. Floods are from the aftermath of the recent rainfall that caused the spate of the Sarare and Arauca rivers. Residents of the affected communities contacted authorities for assistance... Read more

Interesting Facts

Researcher helps break ground on forecasting earthquakes. Researchers are breaking ground on the complexity of earthquakes and the possibility to forecast them... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Canada, Mexico and USA announce ambitious plans to fight climate change and cooperate on disaster risk reduction. 
The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mr. Robert Glasser, today hailed as “a major breakthrough” the announcement by Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, Canada, President Barack Obama, USA; and President Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico, that they will take sweeping action to achieve 50% clean power generation by 2025 and cooperate on reducing disaster risk... Read more