Update info

Updated every Friday.

Friday, April 29, 2016

April 29, 2016

What happened this week?

Ecuador. Earthquake flash appeal and situation update: The Government of Ecuador and the United Nations are launching an urgent appeal to respond to the 7.8 MW earthquake that struck the coastal provinces of north-western Ecuador on April 16, 2016. The appeal requests $72.2 million in funding to kick-start life-saving assistance, protection services, and early recovery support to assist approximately 350,000 people over the next three months.
General Data (as of April 26, 2016):
  • 17,638 people have received health care (4,605 received it within the first 72 hours)
  • 29,067 people are in shelters
  • 41 people are missing
  • 655 people are dead... Read more
Nicaragua. 35 families affected by tornado in villages and communities of Malpasillo: On April 26, 2016, a tornado followed by heavy rains partially damaged 35 homes and one building in community of Malpasillo, in Leon Department, in the western part of the country. Families are receiving assistance... Read more

Honduras. Heavy rains and winds damage some 40 houses in Olancho and El Paraiso: On April 26, heavy rains that struck across the country caused damage in several regions. One of the worst affected areas was Dulce Nombre de Culmí, Olancho, where storms caused damage to at least 40 homes. COPECO reported serious damages to dozens of homes and that they are still conducting evaluations to provide assistance to those injured in the eastern department of Olancho... Read more

Paraguay. Flood Emergency Situation: On April 27, according to OCHA-Paraguay situation report through April 20, there were a total of 7 departments affected, 82,605 people in temporary shelters and 186 active shelters. The Paraguay Red Cross has distributed 1,521 shelter tool kits. UNICEF, ADRA, PLAN PY and MEC are supporting the Ministry of Education and have established 52 mobile classrooms in 10 departments to provide educational services to 4,633 students affected. Family hygiene kits have been distributed to 2,390 families and 28 portable restrooms with showers have been installed in some shelters... Read more

Guatemala. Hailstorm in Totonicapán causes damage: Rains accompanied by hail affected six communities in Totonicapán, leaving 186 people affected and 31 homes with mild and moderate damage according to the CONRED... Read more

Haiti. Heavy rains kill six in Haiti: Heavy rains in Haiti killed six people over the weekend when a house collapsed due to flooding. The rain also sparked flooding in the Caribbean country, with authorities saying water mixed with waste seeped into 4,612 houses in the communities of Port-au-Prince, Cite Soleil and Cabaret, located north of the capital... Read more

Peru. Hurricane-force winds and rains cause damage in city of Pucallpa and Ucayali: On April 27, 2016, strong winds and rains affected the city of Pucallpa, damaging homes. In addition, the municipality of Manantay reported significant damages however; Civil Defense authorities have reported no injuries. In the province of Coronel Portillo in Ucayali, homes and boats in the port of Pucallpa were affected. INDECI performed a damage assessment and needs analysis... Read more

Colombia. Landslide kills nine in Choco department: According to official reports, at least nine people were killed by a landslide that occurred on a road between the departments of Risaralada and Chocó in the western region of Colombia... Read more

Argentina. More than 50,000 people affected by floods: The province of Corrientes in the northeast region has been the hardest-hit area affecting a total of 20,903 people, 2,700 of whom had to leave their homes. In addition, at least four people are dead and one missing from the floods in the northern province of Misiones, where the storm caused rivers to overflow, damaged homes and caused power outages in many cities... Read more

Interesting Facts

Rainwater may play an important role in process that triggers earthquakes. Rainwater may play an important role in the process that triggers earthquakes, according to new research. Researchers have identified the sources and fluxes of the geothermal fluids and mineral veins from the Southern Alps of New Zealand where the Pacific and Australian Plates collide along the Alpine Fault...  Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

One Year On: Learning From the Nepal Earthquake. A month after a new global plan was adopted to reduce disaster losses at a UN Conference in Japan last year, the 7.8 magnitude Nepal earthquake struck, reminding the world again why action on reducing disaster losses is so critical for sustainable development in low-income countries... Read more

Friday, April 22, 2016

April 22, 2016

The Inter-American Committee on Natural Disaster Reduction (IACNDR)
analyze situations in Ecuador

The Inter-American Committee on NaturalDisaster Reduction (IACNDR) held a special meeting at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS), to consider the situations in the Republic of Ecuador on this past Saturday, April 16, 2016, in the aftermath of the powerful earthquake that struck this country... Read more

What happened this week?

Ecuador. Earthquake of 7.8 MW with the epicenter between Pedernales and the town of Cojimies: The earthquake’s impact to the north of the province of Manabí affected the provinces along the Pacific coast of Ecuador: Esmeraldas, Manabí, Guayas, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas. The 6 provinces most affected are: Manabí, Esmeraldas, Guayas, Santo Domingo, Santa Elena and Los Ríos. The population in the area where the magnitude of the earthquake was greater (scale MMI VI to VIII) is 2,480,000 according to USGS/PAGER... Read more

Uruguay. Deadly tornado kills seven and severe storms displace 7,920 people: As of April 19, 2016 seven people were killed by a deadly tornado that occurred in the city of Dolores and constant rains that flooded several areas in the northwest part of the country. SINAE has reported that due to the increase in rainfall, the number of displaced has risen to 7,920 in 18 departments. Of that, a total of 2, 261 were evacuated and 5,659 self-evacuated. INMUET has reported seven departments are under an orange level alert: Artigas, Salto, Rivera, Tacuarembó, Cerro Largo, Treinta y Tres, and Rocha... Read more

United States. Flash Flooding in Texas caused five fatalities: A state of emergency was declared for 9 counties due to severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall which brought 10-18 inches of rain since April 17, 2016 across southeast Texas, including the Houston metro area, causing significant flash flooding. Over 1,200 high water rescues and 1,000 homes are flooded; assessments are ongoing. Multiple roads are closed in the Houston area. 15,000 residents remain without power in Texas; 14 shelters are open. Local and state level responses have been activated. A threat for localized flash flooding and additional significant river flooding will continue through mid-week... Read more

Argentina. Displaced due to flooding: The provinces with the largest number of evacuees are Chaco (4,666) and Santa Fe (2,517). Entre Ríos is the province with the largest number of affected (14,003)... Read more

Interesting Facts

A new Argentinian scientific satellite passed its last exam with honors. The mission of SAOCOM (Microwave Earth Observation Satellites) is composed of 2 high-capacity satellites, the largest ever built in the Southern Hemisphere, weighing 1600 kg each. Their main purpose will be monitoring for the prevention of disasters by means of the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). The radar emits high power microwave pulses using a large antenna of 2.5 x 10m, and will be able to inspection situations before or as they occur, no matter the hour or weather conditions... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Seismic safety is a matter of life and death. The hundreds of deaths in Ecuador and the dozens of victims in Japan are a stark reminder of a basic fact about earthquakes: it is buildings, and not the shake itself, that claim most lives... Read more

Paris Agreement must deliver long-term climate stability. The head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction called on signatories to the Paris Agreement to go beyond their existing commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if the world is to avoid catastrophic future weather events... Read more

Friday, April 15, 2016

April 15, 2016

Seminar on Marine Salvage, Firefighting, Environment Response and Casualty Management

The Inter-American Committee on Ports (CIP) of the Organization of American States (OAS) in partnership with the American Salvage Association (ASA) will be holding a workshop with senior Port Authority officials from the 34 member countries, ASA members, and CIP staff. The event is addressed to Port and maritime officials responsible for risk management and contingency planning, particularly for disasters that could impact the ports... Read more

What happened this week?

Colombia. Declaration of public emergency due to drought in Córdoba and Cesar Departments: More than 80% of the rural population in the municipality of Valencia, Cordoba was affected by drought and was declared a public emergency. 13 of the 15 districts in the municipality are without potable water. El Niño has brought intense droughts and heavy job and economic losses in the agriculture sector. There are 45,000 agricultural producers that are affected in Cesar... Read more

Argentina. Heavy rain and flooding have affected 13,000 residents in seven provinces- Update:Heavy rain affected 13,000 residents in seven provinces due to flooding that occurred in Entre Rios, southern Corrientes, Santa Fe and four other provinces as of April 7, 2016. The Army and the Coast Guard have responded and showed support in these areas... Read more

Interesting Facts

Ocean temperatures may hold key to predicting tornado outbreaks. Today, we predict tornado outbreaks up to seven days in advance. But, new research holds the promise that sea surface temperatures thousands of miles away may help us predict tornado outbreaks as soon as one to three months ahead... Read more

How Earthquake Warning System Helped Stop Delhi Metro During Tremors in Real Time. An Earthquake Warning System (EqWS) developed by Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratory helped stop the Metro services after the tremors hit the national capital early this week... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Private sector hammers out resilience plans. An international business group working to reduce the impact of natural and man-made hazards has pledged to ensure that the private sector plays its part in implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction... Read more

Friday, April 8, 2016

April 8, 2016

Disaster risk management and the OAS agenda for multilateral action to reduce disaster risks and build more resilient societies.

Simon Bolivar Hall 
Headquarters of the OAS,Washington, DC.
Friday, April, 8, 2016

The Permanent Council and the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) of the Organization of American States (OAS) held a meeting where the representatives analyzed "disaster risk management and the OAS agenda for multilateral action to reduce disaster risks and build more resilient societies." Read more

What happened this week?

Peru. Heavy rain caused deaths and injuries in New Eden Contamana District: Heavy rainfall caused flooding in New Eden Contamana District and affected 12 families as of April 3, 2016. In addition, two deaths occurred, an adult and a child at the age of five, and one injured... Read more

Mexico. Wildfires destroy more than 7000 hectares in Oaxaca: Wildfires have destroyed more than 7000 hectares of forest and grasslands in the state of Oaxaca in recent weeks the Director of the National Forestry Commission reported. The strongest of the wildfire season is expected in occur in the coming weeks, as April and May are the months with the most intense heat... Read more

United States. Wildfires in Kansas and Oklahoma: A wildfire began on April 5, 2016 and has spread burning 600 acres and threatening 342 homes in Wabaunsee County, Kansas. Voluntary evacuations are in effect and the Kansas EOC is monitoring the situation; The Governor of Kansas has declared a State of Disaster Emergency for 3 counties due to wildfire activity... Read more
A wildfire began on April 5, 2016 and has burned 27,500 acres, threatening 500 homes and 50 buildings in Woodward County, Oklahoma. The wildfire is also threatening wildlife, roads, infrastructure, utilities and equipment. Voluntary and mandatory evacuations are in effect for 400 residents. One shelter is open with two occupants... Read more

El Salvador. 98,000 people affected by drought: The Government of El Salvador through the MOH and the World Food Program will provide food assistance to some 98,000 people affected by drought in the municipalities of Ahuachapán, Santa Ana, Usulután, San Miguel and Morazán.  The goal is to develop resilient communities that mitigate the effects of climate change and other natural phenomena such as drought and contribute to food security... Read more

Colombia. Heavy Rain and flooding caused 1,200 people to become homeless: Due to heavy rainfall, 1,200 families in Fuente de Oro, Meta Department have been affected by the overflowing of Ariari River on April 5, 2016. Many are left homeless and taken to shelters and humanitarian assistance has been requested by authorities... Read more

Argentina. Heavy rains and flooding in Santa Fe, Entre Rios and CorrientesThe Secretary of Civil Defense reports that in Corrientes and Entre Rios provinces, 2819 people have been evacuated among four provinces that have been affected by the recent rains and floods in Argentina. In La Paz, 2,000 people were affected and the municipality declared a “weather emergency alert” as the rivers overflowed in to the streets. School activities have been suspended as have administrative and commercial activities. Cities near Feliciano, streets are flooded, rural road have become impassable, and 15 bridges have been affected. 80% of the city of Esquina is less than 350mm of water. In Formosa, there are 5,000 evacuees... Read more

Interesting Facts

Fracking Linked to Most Induced Earthquakes in Western Canada. A survey of a major oil and natural gas-producing region in Western Canada suggests a link between hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" and induced earthquakes in the region... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Build better boost for Sendai Framework. The World Bank Group has announced a major new building policy which should address concerns expressed in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the global plan for reducing disaster risk and disaster losses... Read more

Friday, April 1, 2016

April 1, 2016

What happened this week?

Mexico. Emergency in Chihuahua, Zacatecas and Veracruz by winds and frost: On March 22, 2016, the Ministry of the Interior issued emergency declarations for 22 municipalities in Chihuahua, 45 in Zacatecas and 22 in Veracruz that were damaged due to severe frosts and strong winds between March 7 and March 10 this year, opening access to the resources of the Fund for Emergency Response to the affected states (FONDEN)... Read more

Honduras. Cold front causes heavy rainfall in three departments: Heavy rainfalls caused by a cold front have affected 10,341 residents in the Departments of Cortes, Yoro and Atlantis as of March 23, 2016. The event has destroyed bridges, 173 homes, a public building and a power system. According to COPECO, 1,321 people had evacuated from the three departments. In addition, COPECO declared a yellow alert due to the possibilities of flash floods, landslides and strong winds... Read more

United States. Wildfire burns 625 square miles in Kansas and Oklahoma: A wildfire has spread from Oklahoma to Kansas and has burned an estimated 625 square miles as of March 24, 2016. Fire Officials have worked to put out a 30-40 mile line of fire and it is anticipated the blaze will continue into March 25, 2016. In Medicine Lodge in Barber County, Kansas, authorities reported that two structures have been burnt and up to 1,000 structures were threatened. A voluntary evacuation order for Medicine Lodge and two small nearby towns (pop: 140) has been issued. Four other towns in Barber County, with at total population of 5,000 people remain at risk. The wildfire has also forced the closure of a stretch of U.S. 160 and U.S. 281 and scattered power outages have been reported. The Governor of Kansas has declared a state of disaster emergency in some areas... Read more

Brazil. Heavy rain leaves one person dead in São Gonçalo: Heavy rain that occurred in São Gonçalo, in the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, has left at least one person dead on March 23, 2016. The most affected districts were Jardim Catarina and Palmeiras, which are still flooded. There are no reports of any displaced persons... Read more

Interesting Facts

How we're building a better earthquake warning system. The next big idea in earthquake preparedness may be crowdsourcing. There's even an app for it. Researchers at UC Berkeley recently released MyShake, an app that transforms smartphones into earthquake detectors. Upon sensing shaking, the app determines whether it's an earthquake and, if so, relays information about its intensity, origin time, and location to the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, where researchers analyze the data... Read more

Researchers reproduce mechanism of slow earthquakes. Up until now catching lightning in a bottle has been easier than reproducing a range of earthquakes in the laboratory, according to a team of seismologists who can now duplicate the range of fault slip modes found during earthquakes, quiet periods and slow earthquakes... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Universities etch disaster risk into business studies. Ensuring that companies understand and act on the risks posed by natural and man-made hazards is a vital step towards reducing disaster impacts. Business education offers a tool to achieve this... Read more