Chile: Flash Floods - Emergency Plan of Action Operation Update (MDRCL011DU1)

Situation Report
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CHF 275,678 were allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Chilean Red Cross (CRG) in delivering immediate assistance to about 6,500 people. Un-earmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

On 23 March 2015, an atypical hydro-meteorological event occurred in Chile due to a high-altitude cold front. It caused 14 consecutive hours of rain and dropped an average of 14 to 34 mm of water and snow which is equal to the average rainfall for an entire year in this arid and desert-like area of the country. The increased water flow in the Andean rivers fed other waterways in valleys and villages. Given the poor absorption of water from soil, the unusually prolonged and intense rains in the area caused mudslides and floods in various villages, affecting the regions of Antofagasta, Coquimbo and Atacama which was the most affected.

The DREF Operation implemented by the Chilean Red Cross has made it possible to assist the affected population with cleaning kit supplies, water drums, jerrycans, kitchen kits, psychosocial support and health promotion, and is currently in the process of delivering cash transfers to improve housing conditions. Aid is being provided according to needs identified among the communities of Chañaral, Diego de Almagro, El Salado and Copiapó in the Atacama Region. In addition, the National Society, with the support of the ICRC, has provided support through the restoration of family links. The Operation has been extended for one additional month in order to complete the cash transfer process.