Paraguay: Gas explosion/Fire OCHA Situation Report No. 4

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2004/121
OCHA Situation Report No. 4
Paraguay - Gas explosion/ Fire
12 August 2004


1. Almost two weeks after the accident at Ycua Bolaños Supermarket, in Asunción, the revised number of victims reaches a total of approximately 390 according to latest Government and WHO/PAHO estimates. There is a reduction in number of people reported dead, due to a lack of centralization of data at the beginning of the emergency.

2. Current estimates of wounded who received medical attention in hospitals is 300, out of which 12 have died, and 96 are still under medical supervision. 39 of the 96 wounded are in critical conditions.

National response

3. The National Emergency Committee (CEN) is fully operational (, and has established a Center for Support to Families Affected by the Fire, in the area where the Supermarket is located, and where more than 80% of the victims come from.

4. National coordination schemes between the CEN, the Ministry of Health and the Local Government of Asunción are working well.

5. The Census of affected families has been carried out, and proper assistance is being provided to them, in terms of cash subsidies, food, and other emergency supplies.

International response

6. Since CEN is already fully operational, UNDAC Team will be phasing-out after completion of Transition Plan for CEN Coordination Activities.

7. Based on the previously mentioned Census, UNICEF is already implementing the "Back to Happiness" program in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, its Department of Mental Health and the Psychologist' Association. Under this program, 150 volunteers are already providing psychosocial assistance to 1300 affected children.

8. The UN Country Team in Paraguay has launched a mass communication campaign produced by UNIC with the support of WHO/PAHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, and UNDP, has been offered to the media. This campaign is addressed to both the victims of the fire and people willing to help them, and is expected to promote their emotional rehabilitation. It consists of three TV spots in both Spanish and local language (Guarani) versions, radio spots, and posters.

10. For further information and continued tracking of all aspects of this event, please see

11. OCHA is prepared to serve as a channel for cash contributions to be used for immediate relief assistance, in coordination with relevant organizations in the United Nations system. For banking details please contact the desk officers indicated below. OCHA provides donors with written confirmation and pertinent details concerning the utilization of the funds contributed.

12. This situation report, together with further information on other ongoing emergencies is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:
Mr. Erik Haegglund, direct Tel. +41-22-917 3299
Ms. Isabel Garcia-Gill, direct Tel. +41-22-917 1618

Press contact:
(GVA) Ms. Elisabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 2653
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-917-367 51 26


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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