Uruguay: Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 4

This situation report is based on information received from the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team in Uruguay.


1. On May 23rd, the National Emergency System (SNE in Spanish), reported that there still exist 1,383 affected persons (434 adults and 539 minors) from the following areas: Durazno 708, Mercedes 201, Villa Soriano 4 and Treinta y Tres 470. Of the 12,000 affected people since May 10th, 10,600 have returned to their homes voluntarily

2. The Government of Uruguay, via local emergency committees, implemented the "Return Home Plan" in direct coordination with local governments, thus guaranteeing the restoration of services such as water, electricity, telephones and most importantly, security, for all returnees.

3. The National Information System and local governments reported that water levels had reached approximately 12 meters between May 7th and 9th along the river, but had now reached their normal levels.

4. Meteorological reports indicate that there are windstorms with speeds between 100 and 120km/h expected, with wind chills of 10 below zero centigrade. This will principally impact coastal areas.


5 The Government of Uruguay via the SNE began the transition phase to reconstruction.

6. The different ministries of government have begun work on defining sectoral activities to respond to needs within the framework of short and long-term rehabilitation plans. To date there has been no commission created for this phase. For this reason, the Office of Planning and Budget (OPP in Spanish), will be placed in charge of continuing activities within intersectoral plans.

7. The United Nations for its part has received technical assistance from a BCPR expert, who has met with OPP and the UNDAC teams in order to establish linking mechanisms between the emergency and transition stage, looking towards reconstruction.

8. The Ministry of Education, through its national directors and departmental inspectors for primary and secondary schools, continue to supervise student's return to school. The Ministry has given orders so that the integration of students who were flood victims be performed adequately and tolerantly in each educational institution. The Ministry continues to distribute teaching, recreational and sporting materials for these schools.

9. The Ministry of Health continues with epidemiological control and a vaccination campaign against Hepatitis A and influenza.

10. There are hygiene and medicine supplies being distributed to the affected population to clean and disinfect homes and provide vector control.

11. The Ministry of Housing continues to evaluate damage in Treinta y Tres and Durazno departments. It was unable to provide a definitive figure on damages until May 31st. The evaluation can only begin after the river returns to its normal levels.

12. The Ministry of Public Works reported that it was finalizing its damage evaluation and that priority would be placed on the rehabilitation of national roadways, followed by departmental, urban and final rural roadways. Access to the main affected areas has been re-established and there have been no problems with roadway blockage.

13. The municipalities of Montevideo and Soriano reported that they have adequate supplies of clothing, but have problems in classification and distribution of the supplies. They believe that no further donations are necessary.

14. The National Administration of Electricity reported that the most serious infrastructure damage occurred with medium and low tension wiring, but is still awaiting final damage estimates.


15. UNDP, through its BCPR expert, has held meetings with UNDAC and other governmental entities in order to provide recommendations for the reconstruction stage. At the same time, the head of the UNDAC team and the BCPR representative visited Durazno department in order to provide technical assistance on shelter management and to complement information provided at the local level.

16. The UNDAC team has continued to provide information on the emergency and recommendations will be presented in the final report.

17. SNE, together with UNDP and UNDAC organized a multi-sectoral coordination meeting with the participation of 40 personnel from 25 institutions, including representatives from vice-ministries and national directors of UN agencies.

18. Among attendees were Col. Carlos Lorente, SNE Director, university professors and the BCPR representative.

19. Institutions participating in the UNDAC team coordination exercise filled out a matrix of institutional offerings by sector. This exercise provided the motivation to create working groups that will continue their work in the reconstruction phase.

20. UNICEF, together with UNFPA, the Ministry of Education, the YMCA and IFRC, began a process to adapt methodologies for psycho-social recuperation during the flooding in Santa Fe, Argentina.

21. UNESCO announced the distribution of US$50,000 for work on the preparation of a curriculum on risk management. It also announced that an expert would soon arrive from its Chile office to support in evaluation of damages in cultural patrimony areas in impacted zones, with US$5,000 apportioned for this effort, in addition to another US$5,000 for a study of the environmental impact of the flooding.

22. Technicians from the "Telecoms sans Frontières" TSF NGO finalized their preparation of a video of all their work in information response and coordination. They also prepared CDs with protocol on shelters. In addition, they coordinated the Working Group on Energy and Telecommunications.

New Donations:

24. AECI confirmed that it had donated US$150,000 to be implemented in two stages, the first with mattresses, blankets and other materials, and the second in construction materials, the composition of which would be determined by SNE.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.