Panamá: UNCT Situation Report no 5 - Floods

Situation Report
Originally published


DATE AND TIME: 28 November 2008, 11:00 H

PREPARED BY: The Office of the UN Resident Coordinator and the UNETE, activated, based on SINAPROC reports and developments of meetings.


Flooding and landslides due to bad weather, including heavy rainfall, strong winds and high tides -now in slow remission- have caused the collapse of main and secondary roads, bridges, as well as loss of life and property, livestock and crops in the provinces of Bocas del Toro and Chiriquí mainly but other areas of the Caribbean region are also seriously affected.


- 91 homes + two camps destroyed

- 2,307 homes affected

- 23,287 individuals affected

- 812 individuals suffered loss or damage to their properties

- 14,667 persons in 58 shelters

- Victims: 5 injured (2F, 3M) 8 deceased, 4 missing (3 adult men and a minor)

- Affected infrastructure: 13 including highways, bridges, suspension bridges, access roads and 3 warehouses to store vegetables. Several communities remain isolated.

- Loss of coffee growing land and vegetable farming areas, as well as dairy farms.

- Telecommunications: System of communications of Bocas del Toro, out of service.

Aerial transportation is back but limited due to the adverse meteorological conditions. Information (dispersed but indicative) is available of strong losses of harvests in coastal crops of subsistence in indigenous areas of the region and of Bocas del Toro (the rivers have swept seeding and plantations).


Secondary threats: remain and increase as time goes by. The affected population is at risk of infections of the skin, intestinal and of the respiratory tract, pollution of superficial waters by drag refuse material. Possible increase of prices of foods and fresh vegetable provision.

Climatic situation: The Panama Canal meteorological radar indicates stripes of rain approaching from the Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Panama, towards the continental divide Northeast bound, condition that is associated to low pressure cyclonic circulation. The satellite view at midday shows an ample zone of humid air in the Panamanian and Central American Pacific.