Ecuador

Ecuador: Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Attachments

This situation report is based on information received from the Office of the Resident Coordinator, UN Agencies, the Ecuadorian Government, the UN Emergency Technical Team (UNETT) in Quito and OCHA Regional Office in Panama.

HIGHLIGHTS

- Floods have claimed 12 lives and affected 265,000 people.

- The Government of Ecuador has declared a national emergency and requested international assistance.

- An UNDAC Team is being deployed over the week end.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

1. Due the La Nina phenomenon, over the past weeks, floods in Ecuador have increased, affecting 11 provinces or 50% of the territory. Intense rains are forecasted to continue in various provinces, and floods are expected until the month of April, with a possibility of overflowing of dams. Many communities are isolated and assistance will be needed by air or boat, especially in Nuevo Yaguachi, Puerta Inca, and Guayaquil.

2. According to the Government estimates, the floods claimed 12 lives and affected some 265,000 persons. Some 14,000 persons are in shelters.

3. The Government is also estimating the damages in housing, infrastructure and agriculture to be up to USD 45 million. The Ministry of Agriculture estimates that some 30% of the crops have been damaged and some 102,783 hectares of land are flooded. Bananas, cacao, sugar, rice and corn crops are the most affected.

4. More information will become available on 25 February on the situation in the affected provinces. According to a UNETE assessment conducted on 20 February, in the provinces of Guayas and Los Rios, there are respectively 12 and 5 municipalities flooded, some 10,461 and 51,285 families affected, of which 66 and 108 are in shelters.

NATIONAL RESPONSE

5. The President of Ecuador, through Decree N. 900, has declared a national emergency. The Army and the Police (around 4,400 men) have been mobilized to implement the necessary emergency measures, in coordination with the Coastal Ministry and the Ministry of Coordination for Internal and External Security. Plans for response are being currently designed.

6. The Government disbursed USD 10 million to respond to the emergency and an additional USD 25 million will further be allocated for the coastal region. An emergency agricultural fund is being established to ensure the distribution of seeds and fertilizers after the disaster.

7. A coordination meeting took place between all national actors, including the Army, the police, the Defense Ministry, the Coordination Ministry, Civil Defense, and the Coastal Ministry to develop a plan of action and map available resources. The Costal Ministry has prioritized the sectors of social protection, infrastructure, early recovery and strengthening of capacities.

8. The Regional Emergency Operation Centre (COE), established in Guayaquil, under the auspices of the Costal Ministry, is collecting information from the provincial COEs. However the information needs to be further analyzed and processed to have clear data on needs. Emergency vouchers (USD 90) have been made available but have not yet been distributed as a result of the lack of information. Only 20% of the affected population has received food assistance from the Programa Alimentate Ecuador due to logistic difficulties.

INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE AND NEEDS

9. The Government of Ecuador has requested international assistance. Assistance is needed notably for coordination. A United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team has been requested, to be based in the Regional COE.

10. The Government has also requested: Medicines and medical equipment; Non perishable food and liquids; Communication equipment; Water treatment plants, electric generators, heaters and portable lamps; First aid kits; Rescue teams (boats, motors); Recreational kits; Mattresses, blankets, tents, sleeping bags and mosquito nets; Kitchen kits; Toilet kits. Any donation of assistance should arrive directly to Guayas, in the airport of Taura.

11. Three UNETE missions were deployed between 7 - 22 February to the affected area. Experts from the UNETE have assessed on 20 February warehouses and shelters. In general, there is a need for sanitation, psychological support, improvement of shelters, tents and water quality control. The mission also met with the Ministry of Health. Since January 2008, there have been 567 cases of dengue. In the health sector, there is a need for better coordination; interventions for pregnant and lactating women and the disabled; prevention on sexual exploitation and abuse as well as AIDS prevention.

12. PAHO is assisting in the strengthening the emergency response coordination of the Ministry of Health. There is also a need for SUMA and UNFPA experts in the affected area.

13. A UNETE mission is currently in the field composed by IOM, UNICEF, WFP, PAHO, FAO and OCHA working on health, food, logistics, shelter, water and sanitation, agriculture and coordination.

14. Argentina, Peru, Chile, the EU and Venezuela are assisting the Government of Ecuador.

15. On 25 February, the UNDMT will meet to discuss the support to the UNDAC team as well as the technical and humanitarian cooperation with the Government.

MAP - Ecuador: Floods (as of 22 Feb 2008) - Location Map

Contact Details

Desk Officer (New York)
Ms. Heidi Kuttab
Office Tel: + 1 917 367-3365
E-mail: kuttab@un.org  

Humanitarian Affairs Officer GCMS (Geneva)
Mr. Thierry Delbreuve
Office Fax: + 1 212 963-36 30
Office Tel: + 41 22 917 1638
E-mail: delbreuve@un.org

OCHA Regional Office in Panama
Mr. Max Bonnel
Office Tel: + 507 317 1748 - 49
E-mail: bonnel@un.org

Press Contact:

(New York)
Ms. Stephanie Bunker
Office Tel : + 1 917-367-5126
Office Fax: + 1 212-963-1312
Email: bunker@un.org

Ms. Christina Bennett
Office Tel: + 1 917 367 8059
Office Fax: + 1 212 963 1312
Email: bennett1@un.org

(Geneva)
Ms. Elizabeth Byrs
Office Tel + 41 22 917 26 53
Office Fax + 41 22 917 00 20
E-mail: byrs@un.org

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.