Panamá: UNCT Situation Report no 8 - Floods

Situation Report
Originally published



5 December 2008, 14:00 H


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


Weather conditions have improved in all of the country. Alerts are issued for moderate rain with thunderstorms for certain areas over the Caribbean coastline from the northern coast of Veraguas to the eastern coast of Colon (Costa Arriba) and over the Gulf of Urabá in the vicinity of Puerto Obaldía and La Miel. Efforts are concentrated in the distribution of aid, and recovery. Only two shelters remain open in Bocas del Toro and two in the Panama northeastern area.


Reports from: SINAPROC/COE # 22

Homes destroyed: 192 + 2 camps

Homes affected: 3,094 + 1 camp

Individual affected: 23,692

Individual loss property/damaged: 1,300

Shelters: 4

People in shelters: 560

Injured persons: 6

Deceased persons: 10

Missing persons: 6

Rescue operations/persons rescued: 44/158

Affected infrastructure: 8 - Including paths and streets as well as bridges in Chiriquí and main street in Salamanca, in the Province of Colon.

Additional infrastructure: 3 warehouses to store produce in Chiriquí. Livelihoods in farming, banana productions, commerce, and tourism have been severely affected, mainly as a result of interruptions to the transportation infrastructure. Preliminary damage assessment estimates losses at $10 million US dollars. Unemployment will become a major issue in the region in the upcoming months.

Telecommunications and Power: Completely restored since 24 November.


Secondary threats: The affected population is at risk of skin, intestinal and respiratory infections and other related water-borne diseases. Pollution of superficial waters by drag of refuse material and/or agro-chemical products could also poses a serious health threat.

Climatic situation: Images of the Doppler satellite radar show cloud conglomerates over the Eastern region of Panama, the Colon Costa Abajo area, and Central Panama. Rainfall has expected duration of one to two hours.


Organization: The National System of Civil Protection (Sistema Nacional de Protección Civil) - SINAPROC, is activated with good coordination. All Governmental institutions as well as Embassies and the civil society are involved in the relief efforts.

Operations: The National Government continues to collect and dispatch essential relief items through the office of the First Lady and SINAPROC personnel has been distributing blankets. Water and foodstuff. SINAPROC's warehouse operations continue with a plan to dispatch goods to communities that, according to information from the field, have not been assisted.

The Ministry of Housing carried out a housing census in 31 affected communities in Bocas del Toro. Of 630 houses assessed, 162 (26%) are partially damaged and 232 (37%) with total damage as seen in Annex 1.