Panamá: UNCT Situation Report no 6 - Floods

Situation Report
Originally published


DATE AND TIME: 30 November 2008, 11:00 H

PREPARED BY: The Office of the UN Resident Coordinator and the UNETE, based on reports received from the COE and UN Agencies, local and regional as well as other international agencies in Panama.


Flooding and landslides due to constant rain, overflowing of rivers, and high tides caused the collapse of main and secondary roads, bridges, power and communication towers, as well as loss of life and property, livestock and crops, in the provinces of Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, and Colon, mainly, but other areas of the country are also seriously affected. The province of Darien has been placed in high alert since all the rivers there are at their highest levels.


- 190 homes + two camps destroyed

- 1,143 homes affected + one camp

- 23,547 individuals affected

- 852 individuals suffered loss or damage to their properties

- 11,670 persons in 44 shelters

- Victims: 5 injured, 8 deceased, 6 missing

- Affected infrastructure: 15 including main highways, bridges, suspension bridges, access roads and 3 warehouses to store vegetables destroyed. Several communities remain isolated. Loss of coffee growing land and vegetable farming areas, as well as dairy farms.

- Including damages to the Panamerican and Centennial roads, damages are estimated at US$6 million.

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

- Education: 61 schools affected.


Secondary threats: The affected population is at risk of infections of the skin, intestinal and of the respiratory tract. Pollution of superficial waters by drag of refuse material. Those isolated lack food and water. Possible increase of prices of foods and fresh vegetable provision.

Climatic situation: Clouds and bad weather build-up appear on the satellite radar and the electric activity detector. Moderate rainfall and storms are expected for most of the country to continue beyond the 4th of December and further floodings should not be overruled.