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Latin America & The Caribbean Weekly Situation Update (1 - 7 August 2022) as of 8 August 2022

Attachments

REGIONAL: DISASTER RISK MONITORING

KEY FIGURES

4K PEOPLE EVACUATED IN CUBA DUE TO FIRE AT OIL STORAGE FACILITY

17.7K RECORDED QUAKES AT CHILESCERRO NEGRO VOLCANO COMPLEX SINCE 27 MAY

CUBA: OIL FACILITY FIRE

Fire brigades continue working to extinguish a massive fire at the Matanzas Supertanker base that engulfed two of the oil storage facility’s eight tanks after an explosion linked to a 5 August lightning strike. Officials report that the number of people evacuated from nearby communities has risen to 4,000, most of whom are staying with friends or family. There are more than 120 people injured, one death and 16 people missing.

Mexico and Venezuela have sent aircraft, personnel and equipment to assist in extinguishing the fires. Authorities are working to guarantee a constant supply of water to extinguish the fires by setting up additional pumps and systems to source seawater, while also racing to evacuate fuel from the tanks closest to the fires.

Per preliminary environmental evaluations, smoke from the fire, currently blowing over the country’s western provinces, contains poisonous gases and air pollutants that is prompting officials to urge people nearby to use masks and remain indoors. UN agencies, funds and programmes in Cuba are monitoring developments and in contact with State counterparts.

SOUTH AMERICA: VOLCANIC ACTIVITY

Authorities in Ecuador are attributing the 25 July 5.2-magnitude earthquake in Carchi, northern Ecuador, to increased volcanic activity in the Chiles-Cerro Negro volcano complex located along the Ecuador-Colombia border, a craterless complex some 80 miles north of the Ecuadorian capital of Quito with no historical record of eruptions.

While volcanic activity is common in both countries, the increased activity and uncertainty in recent weeks, including some 17,700 quakes since 27 May and noticeable changes in the volcanos’ surface structure, temperatures of nearby bodies of water and composition of gas emissions, is prompting officials in both countries to prepare an evacuation simulation for nearby communities in Carchi and in the neighbouring Nariño department in southern Colombia.

Disclaimer

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