Panama: Floods - DREF Plan of Action n° MDRPA014

Situation Report
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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Since 23 July 2021, heavy rains have been reported in several provinces of Panama, causing severe flooding, especially in the Province of Bocas del Toro (Changuinola; Almirante and Chiriquí Grande), Chiriquí, and NabeBuglé. According to preliminary data from the National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC)2 , 35 communities have been affected. Approximately 5,435 homes have been directly affected, 27,189 people affected, one person dead, and 858 people in collective centers.

All rivers and streams in the province of Bocas del Toro reported their maximum level, causing major flooding and landslides that have caused road blockages and collapse of roads, falling trees, affected and destroyed houses, especially in the areas surrounding the Sixaola River. According to official hydro meteorological data, rainfall accumulations of approximately 300 mm were recorded in the affected areas in the province of Bocas del Toro, as opposed to the rest of the country, where lower rates of accumulation of rainfall volume were recorded.

Due to the severity of the floods, on 23 June SINAPROC declared a red alert for the Province of Bocas del Toro and a yellow alert for the Provinces of Chiriqui, Veraguas, Herrera, Los Santos.
Colón, Coclé and the Ngäbe-Buglé region.

The floods are also isolated communities due to blockages and the collapse of roads due to landslides. The Ministry of Agricultural Development is conducting assessments of the damage in agricultural areas in Puerto Armuelles and Changuinola to assess the means of transport and agricultural damage. 62% of the population is located in the border area; the rest of the population is located in the Admiral area.

The rains continue in the area. The situation is expected to worsen as the hurricane season is in its initial phase.
It is not ruled out that the number of affected families will increase in the coming days and that more communities will be affected.