Venezuela - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 99/0256
Venezuela - Floods
OCHA Situation Report No. 1
17 December 1999

State of Emergency declared: approximately 120,000 persons affected


1. Heavy rains have triggered landslides and overflowing of main rivers and mountain streams, affecting in particular the coastal regions from the eastern State of Anzoategui to the State of Zulia on the west coast. The situation continues to be critical with heavy rains expected to last for the next few days.

2. On 16 December 1999, the National Assembly of Venezuela declared the State of Emergency, for the Federal District of Caracas and eight of the country=s states. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has opened collection centers and has circulated a request for solidarity to foreign embassies/missions in Venezuela.

3. At this stage, the affected population is estimated to be more than 120,000 people, and the number of people dead is reported to be at least 50. Many persons are still missing.

4. Damage assessment results are not yet available, but serious damage has been reported to housing, transportation, electricity, and communications infrastructures. National and international airports serving the Caracas metropolitan area have been closed until further notice. Landslides have interrupted the highway connecting Caracas to airport and port areas of la Guira in Vargas State.

5. The situation in the Guapo Dam in Miranda State, which has been a motive of concern because of the risk of collapsing, has now improved as the drain has been opened and the water level is dropping.

National Response

6. Responsibility for the coordination of relief/rescue operations national effort rests with the Civil Defence National Director who is the coordinatior of the National Emergency Committee.

On-Site International Response

7. The UN-Disaster Management Team has been activated and local UNDAC team members have been mobilized, to assist the UN Resident Coordinator during this emergency phase.

Preliminary requirements

8. Needs assessments are still ongoing but a preliminary request from the Venezuelan Civil Defense includes generators, gas stoves, waterproof mattresses and medicines. The Venezuelan Civil Defense Cash has made a special request for the following two cash contributions:

USD 20,000 for a programme of psychiatric support for the affected population;
USD 10,000 for damage assessment.

Contributions reported to OCHA

UN System USD
OCHA Emergency cash grant for the local purchase of relief supplies 30,000
Norway Cash grant from the Emergency Fund managed by OCHA 50,000
Switzerland Cash grant through the Swiss Embassy In Caracas for medicines and chlorine
Cash grant of CHF 100,000
CAF (Corporacion Andina de Fomento) Cash grant for the purchase of emergency medical supplies 25,000

9. The international assistance, which has been reported to OCHA as of today, may be found by clicking on Financial Tracking at the top of the page for this disaster on the OCHA Internet Website (

10. Given that information on contributions reaches OCHA Geneva from multiple sources, donors are urged to verify this table and inform OCHA of corrections/additions/values, as required. Donors are requested to notify OCHA Geneva of any further contributions to this disaster using the "OCHA Standardized Contributions Recording Format", available electronically in the above mentioned Financial Tracking Website.

11. OCHA is prepared to serve as a channel for cash contributions to be used for immediate relief assistance, in coordination/consultation with relevant organizations in the United Nations system. Funds should be transferred to OCHA account No. CO-590.160.0, Swift code: UBSWCHZ12A at the UBS AG, P.O. Box 2770, CH-1211 Geneva 2, with reference: OCHA - Venezuela - Floods. 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 ongoing emergencies is available on the OCHA Internet Website at:

Telephone number: + 41-22-917-1234
In case of emergency only: + 41 22 917 2010

Desk Officers: Mr. Erik Haegglund, direct tel: + 41-22-917-3299 and
Mr. Carlos Monteiro-Pereira, direct tel: +41-22-9171383

Contact person for the media: Ms. Elena Ponomareva, direct tel: +41-22-917-2336

Telex 41 42 42 ocha ch
Fax: + 41 22 917 0023


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