Situation Report 1: Central America Flooding (22 Oct 2008)

Report
from Pan American Health Organization, World Health Organization
Published on 22 Oct 2008
A stationary tropical depression 16 over the Northwestern Caribbean/Central America since 10/16/08 produced prolonged heavy rains and consequent flooding and landslides in several countries. Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala have reported flooding. A state of emergency has been declared in Honduras.

Summary

- Honduras: 14 people died as a result of the rains. 127,000 persons affected and 4000 in shelters. Government has declared a state of emergency. 17 of 18 Departments in the country are flooded. Some areas are isolated and only accessible by boats. Medical teams need to be mobilized across country.

- Costa Rica: 6 people died. 10,000 persons affected with 3096 in 43 shelters.

- Nicaragua: 4 persons died due to flooding. 6,364 persons affected and 1858 in shelters.

- Guatemala: 3 persons have died and 5709 affected by floods.

- Belize & El Salvador have reported flooding. No deaths reported.

HEALTH IMPACT

- 27 deaths reported

- Estimated 9000 in shelters

- Honduras: Heavy rains have caused flooding in the North, Southern and Central regions of the country. The most affected areas are the city of Comayagua and the colonies of Brisas del Humuya, Centenario, Mejores Alimentos and some low lying areas of Los Lirios which were flooded by the overflowing of the

Humuya river. In the north, the road between San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa was closed and in the south, flooded roads have isolated 10,000 people.

Main Health Needs: Mobilization of Medical Teams to affected areas; medicines, Water and Sanitation Advisor.

- Costa Rica: Variable rainfall due to tropical depression 16 resulted in flooding in the low lying areas of Gaunacaste, Central Pacific and Central Valley. More than 3000 persons were displaced. 47 shelters have been opened, housing 3096 persons (10/17). 15000 persons have been evacuated from affected areas.

- Belize: The most affected areas due to flood are in the Cayo District in the West Central part of the country, where the communities of Benque Viejo, San Jose Succotz, Bullet Tree Falls and Calla Creek have been cut off. The Main bridge to the Cayo district is flooded though still passable. In the Western district, the bridge over the Macal river is also flooded and only limited traffic is being allowed. Initial estimates suggest that there has been loss of US $ 1.6 million to infrastructure damage and of US $ 3.6 million to agricultural sector. No deaths are reported; 85 persons are in shelters and others evacuated to family homes.

- Guatemala: Rains have caused floods and landslides in Petén, Izabal and areas along rivers and lowlands the country. Some communities have been isolated. 3446 people are in shelters and 3472 have been evacuated.

- El Salvador: Some floods are reported with damage to roads and landslides. No deaths reported.

HEALTH RESPONSE

HONDURAS

- The Ministry of Health, NGOs and international agencies are working in an inter-agency manner. PAHO/WHO has mobilized regional experts in water and sanitation, disaster management, and SUMA for deployment to the country. Three teams have been sent to the field to carry out an interagency assessment of the most affected areas in the North, West and South parts of the country.

- Spain, through PAHO, has released US $ 30,000 for immediate disaster relief.

BELIZE

- PAHO/WHO has supported a needs assessment mission with the Ministry of Health. No assistance has been requested by the country.