Guatemala: Floods - Information Bulletin n° 1

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In Brief

This Bulletin (no. 01/2005) is being issued for information only, and reflects the status of the situation and information available at this time . The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

The Situation

The annual rainy season in Guatemala has brought heavy rains to the country's capital, Guatemala City, which has caused landslides and flooding and destroyed homes and infrastructure. To date, the extreme weather has caused seven deaths as people were buried under a landslide. The National Coordination Committee for the Reduction of Disasters (CONRED) has declared a red alert in the capital city and disaster relief personnel have been mobilized to respond to the needs. Shelters in various areas of the city are providing assistance to more than 1,000 people who have been affected by the floods or live in high-risk areas, particularly those living on the slopes of ravines or near rivers.

The municipality of Guatemala City manages the shelters in the area and is providing relief goods to the affected population. CONRED has also provided food, drinking water, blankets and mattresses to the shelters. Relief personnel have been working to rescue victims of the floods and recover bodies from landslides.

The national authorities are working to repair roads and clear away debris. The National Police is working to ensure the security of the affected areas of the city, which have been largely evacuated given the high risk of flooding and landslides.

Red Cross action

Volunteers from the Guatemalan Red Cross are working to provide assistance in all of the affected areas throughout the city. Operations carried out to date include:

- Supporting the management of the various shelters set up in Guatemala City

- Distributing medicines to the municipal authorities and patients in affected areas

- Providing assistance to patients suffering from respiratory or dermatological illnesses

- Transporting affected persons to shelters and health centres

- Evacuating residents from high-risk areas

- Supporting the carrying out of damage and needs assessments

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Guatemala: Teresa Marroquín, Disaster Management Director, Guatemalan Red Cross; email, phone (502) 2253-2027, fax (502) 2232-4649

In Guatemala: Rafael Olaya, Federation Representative, Guatemala; email, phone (502) 2220-0672, fax (502) 2238-0091

In Panama: Dario Alvarez, Disaster Management Delegate, Pan American Disaster Response Unit; email, phone (507) 316-1001, fax (507) 316-1082

In Geneva: Luis Luna, Federation Regional Officer, Americas Department, Geneva; email, phone (41 22) 730-4274, fax (41 22) 733-0395

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at