Paraguay: Wind and Hail Storm DREF Operation Update No. 1 MDRPY004

Situation Report
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Glide No. ST-2008-000135-PRY

The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross and Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of national societies to respond to disasters.

Period covered by this update: 21 August 2008 to 9 November, 2008.

Summary: CHF 56,605 (USD 53,910 or EUR 34,620) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 20 August, 2008 to support the national society in delivering assistance to 106 agricultural working families from the district of Concepcion.

During this reporting period the Paraguayan Red Cross (PRC) completed the objective of providing 106 families affected by the storm with food items, seedlings and technical agricultural assistance. This operation is expected to be implemented over three months, and will therefore be completed by 19 November, 2008; a Final Report will be made available within three months after the end of the operation (by 19 February, 2009).

The situation

On 8 August 2008, the central government for the northern areas of Concepcion and San Pedro declared a state of emergency, due to the 200 km per hour winds that affected these areas on the night of 7 August. The heavy winds were accompanied by hailstones weighing up to one kg. The most affected departments were Presidente Hayes, San Pedro and Concepcion. The hailstones and winds damaged infrastructure and four electricity towers causing power outages, affecting 600,000 people for 72 hours. Over 1,800 hectares of agricultural crops were destroyed including corn, tomatoes, beans, carrots and bananas.

A total of 9,531 families (5,976 families in Concepcion, 3,515 families in San Pedro and 40 families in Presidente Hayes) were severely affected by the hail and windstorm: in addition to losing the agricultural crops, their homes were damaged, as roofs were blown away making them even more vulnerable to the storm.