Guatemala + 1 more

Guatemala: Floods and Mudslides OCHA Situation Report No. 5

Situation Report
Originally published
Ref: 2005/0180
OCHA Situation Report No. 4
Floods and Mudslides - Guatemala
16 October 2005

This Situation Report is based on information provided by the UN Resident Coordinator's Office in Guatemala and CONRED (National Commission for Disaster Reduction).


1. The emergency situation due to floods, landslides, and river overflows caused by the tropical storm "STAN"continues.

2. Based on information provided by CONRED, latest figures of impact as of October 19 are as follows:

Dead persons: 664

Missing persons: 844

Wounded persons: 383

Affected persons: 427.688

Sheltered persons: 70.161

Affected dwellings: 25.256

Destroyed dwellings: 8.937

Habilitated shelters500

3. Currently many of those sheltered are returning to their homes. Depending on the zone and the type of impact, the return is partial or total. In the coastal area sanitation risks are still present due to water contamination, and due to the state of dwellings after the flooding.

4. In the highlands, return to homes is still slow due to a higher total destruction of houses.

5. It is expected that the loss of agricultural productive capacity will affect food security and family sources of income in the short run and that these may persist in the medium to long term. According to need indicators, the humanitarian assistance phase will continue throughout the next few weeks.

Unmet needs

- Food (grains, corn, beans, rice, etc.) food preparation and dining utensils.

- Health equipment and medicines

- Equipments and materials for safe water supply

- Agricultural tools, fishing equipment, housing repair and cleanup tools

- Machinery and heavy equipment for road cleanup and repair

National Response


6. CONRED provide support in the elaboration of reports on the emergency situation, in coordination of international aid. They will coordinate ECLAC assessment processes and UNDP/BCPR Reconstruction Plan as well as assessments at municipal level.

7. CONRED is preparing the second call for support, which will establish the emergency needs and priorities for the following weeks. This document will be presented in the coming days.

8. SEGEPLAN (National Planning Secretariat) and the Ministries are elaborating rehabilitation and reconstruction plans based on their damages assessments. The Water and Sanitation sector has presented its Plan, approved by the President, which seeks to reestablish the minimum sanitary conditions for guaranteeing the health of the affected populations and avoiding epidemic outbreaks.

Nutritional and food security

9. Priorities are the distribution of food to Regional Distribution Centers, gathering of information on the result of food distribution, organization and training of support brigades for shelters and the elaboration of a diagnostic survey as well as a proposal of Food for Work programs for reconstruction in coordination with WFP and FAO.

Agriculture, livestock and food

10. Sector work groups coordinate with CONRED food distribution at departmental, municipal and community levels and also among shelters. Currently, the assessment of agricultural and livestock damages and loss is carried out. They are also addressing the need of prevention measures like immunization and dealing with carcass disposal.


11. Monitoring and control of affected areas with a diagnosis of the situation, needs assessment and epidemiological oversight is ongoing. The process of purchasing and distribution of medicine, equipment, and chlorine plus the revision of protocols for treatment of specific illnesses (Diarrheic Acute Illnesses, Respiratory Acute Illnesses and skin illnesses) is conducted. Additional actions include a health education campaign, organization of technical and medical assistance brigades, monitoring of water quality and food safety and environmental sanitation.

Housing and infrastructure

12. The evacuation of people, water provision via water tanks, emergency response, inspection of bridges, the rehabilitation of roads and establishment of temporary bridges plus road maintenance are carried out.

Needs and limitations

13. Access to some communities is not yet reestablished, making aerial transportation the only way of access that limits hours of access, information flow and quantity of goods transported. On the other hand, much needs to be done to improve surface communication among the various zones.

On-Site International Response

14. The UN System issued the Flash Appeal for a total of 22 million US dollars, of which presently the following amounts have been confirmed as contributions and pledges:

Recipient Agency
Amount (USD)
Water, food security and health services
Food security
Communication and secure shelter
Water, food security, housing and children protection
Other without specify agency

1, 201,923.00
(for Guatemala 225,000.00
and El Salvador 225,000.00)

15. A Delegation of the Government of Colombia under coordination of the National Directory for Disaster Prevention and Response visited Guatemala on 13 an 14 October in order to deliver in kind humanitarian assistance for the victims of the tropical storm Stan.

16. Government is supervising the in-kind and financial cooperation that is coming into the country, a daily report is posted on SEGEPLAN's web page.


17. On 19 October, two missions left for Chimaltenango and Sololá mainly to verify the functioning of shelters, especially regarding the issue of teenager and child protection.

18. UNICEF has conducted the first interagency meeting with the participation of PAHO/WHO, UNFPA and the Ministry of Public Health in the area of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion according to the Flash Appeal.


19. WFP has made available 68 MT of high calorie food produced in Guatemala, Honduras and Ecuador. Aside from this lot, 7 MT were distributed in the provinces of San Marcos and Quetzaltenango. In some cases, food was airlifted to affected communities; additional distribution is planned for this week.

20. Some interagency teams have reported on the use of food assistance from WFP in the Pacific Coast. Reports state that situation is critical for some communities prior to returning to their homes. Also it has been reported that fortified corn-soybeans are being distributed in shelters. As road access improves, food distribution should improve.


21. On 19 October, UNDP received confirmation of donations from Norway amounting to USD769,230.00.

22. In the context of the Flash Appeal, UNDP in coordination with the governmental institutions organized the first coordination meeting on Shelter with donors and UN specialized agencies (UNICEF, ILO, FAO, IOM, UNESCO, etc.). The Government presented its Reconstruction Strategy and UNDP informed that in the context of this strategy it is financing a pilot damage assessment in Puerto San José, also presenting the Shelter Strategy as a part of the recovery process as a common UN system effort.


23. IOM is coordinating the execution of a population census, which will help to inform the various reconstruction programs and plans. Currently, the census data collection instrument is undergoing approval.


24. Coordinated the first interagency meeting with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and UNFPA in order to formulate the program in the area of health, according to the Flash Appeal.


25. UNFPA has contributed medicine, HIV prophylactic kits, which support to avoid sexual violence, plus a vehicle and a specialist for working in shelters in the province of San Marcos. In coordination with the Health Ministry it has provided technical assistance on female health and reproductive health. Two team members are working full time with the Health Ministry of technical disaster evaluations.

26. They are planning on presenting a six-month project to ECHO to coordinate with the Health Ministry the implementation of preventive measures for reproductive health and violence.


27. FAO assessment teams have come back from the field and are working in the analysis of the information gathered. They are preparing the study: "Profile of Food Markets in Critical Times for Guatemala" within the framework of the Strengthening Emergency Needs Assessment Capacity (SENAC) Program, executed by the World Food Program.


28. In coordination with CONRED, UNDP, UNDAC, they are elaborating a web page for information dissemination regarding NGOs, their intervention sectors and main areas of intervention. Likewise, they are providing support to UNDAC field missions through their members in San Marcos.


29. Travel authorizations within the country for routine missions have been restored. UNDSS is monitoring, supporting and accompanying UNDAC missions in the field. The Security Management Team meets on a constant basis to exchange information, to take decisions on further meetings and evaluate progress together with high-level government representatives. There are no casualties among UN staff.


30. To improve coordination between UN System and NGOs for the emergency response, work is underway to have a website that will consolidate and systematize the greatest quantity of information possible regarding the assistance and cooperation that is being offered by the various organizations.

31. The final objective is to have concise and accessible information on the various efforts and their specific goals in the emergency response. To do this, there is a standard format for data collection that classifies information into two schemes: one is thematic -water, food security, health services, habitat, communications and others - and, the other one is regarding territoriality.


32. In light of the situation experienced by the provinces in the highlands, a field visit was organized to the province of San Marcos, where the damages caused by landslides and river overflows were assessed as well and the functioning of shelters and the identification of the most immediate and main needs.

33. The team, through the Resident Coordinator, provided the first report on Monday 17 to the Presidency Office on the state of the coordination of the emergency response and has issued relevant recommendations.

34. An UNDAC team environmental expert deployed in collaboration with the OCHA Environmental Emergencies Section is conducting a rapid environmental assessment to identify any acute environmental risks with implications for human life and health. Preliminary findings include contamination of surface waters from sources such as flooded sewage systems in numerous areas, and increased risks of erosion and landslides as a result of massive soil loss, the latter also posing challenges for agricultural areas. Risks from contamination by fuels, pesticides and other hazardous materials are currently being assessed. Underground water supplies are believed to require more thorough assessment. Total destruction of vegetation and significant changes to local landscapes in many areas may pose longer-term problems.


35. Efforts to improve the flow and coordination of information are being undertaken at national, provincial and municipal levels, especially regarding the humanitarian assistance. With this in mind, the data processing teams are being strengthened with UNV personnel and platforms for the retrieval of information from NGOs.

Ways for the delivery of international assistance

Logistics and distribution system

36. The Coordination Center for Humanitarian Assistance (CCAH) is working in CONRED's central headquarters and is receiving donations in kind in their warehouses located in the airports airstrip (

Possible channels for contributions

37. The following organizations are possible channels for cash contributions:

Centro de Coordinación de Asistencia Humanitaria - CONRED

Fondo Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres (Banco SCI, SA 102-01001-004436-7), ( Fax No. 23854165)

Office of the Resident Coordinator of the UN System in Guatemala:

UNICEF Representative in Guatemala and UNRC a.i.
Gladys Acosta Vargas
Tel. +(502) 2333-6373
Fax: +(502) 2333-6317

WFP Representative in Guatemala
Guillermina Segura
Tel. +(502) 2333-5928
Fax. +(502) 2333-7423

PAHO/WHO Representative in Guatemala
Dr. Joaquín Molina Leza
Tel. +(502) 2332 2032
Fax. +(502) 2334 3804

UNDP Resident Representative, a.i. in Guatemala
Barbara Pesce Monteiro,
Tel. +(502) 2384 3100
Fax. +(502) 2384 3101/02/03

Comments: Fax:+ (502) 2363-4016 / 2333-6317, Tel: + (502) 2333-6373

Edificio Edyma , Plaza, 2o. nivel, 13 calle 8-44 zona 10, Ciudad Guatemala, C. A.

38. OCHA is in close contact with the Office of the United Nations' Resident Coordinator in Guatemala and will revert with further information as it becomes available.

39. This situation report, together with further information on other ongoing emergencies is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officer:
Mr. Dusan Zupka
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 1645

Press contact:

(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53

(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker direct Tel. +1-917-367 51 26

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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