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OVERVIEW OF RECENT HISTORY OF DISASTERS IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

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Title: OVERVIEW OF RECENT HISTORY OF DISASTERS IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN


1
OVERVIEW OF RECENT HISTORY OF DISASTERS IN
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
  • David A. Novelo

2
OBJECTIVES
  • To understand the diversity of natural disaster,
    hazards, and vulnerabilities in LAC.
  • To become familiar with several real-world
    scenarios.
  • Review of Hurricanes Georges and Mitch, Venezuela
    Floods and El Salvador Earthquakes.

3
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4
ALL KIND OF DISASTERS IN LAC Earthquakes,
Hurricanes, Volcanic Eruptions, Landslides,
Wildfires..
5
MEXICO 1985 EARTHQUAKE
6
HURRICANE GEORGES
7
Mitch Landslides
North Norte
Rio Choluteca
Landslide Derrumbe
8
EL SALVADOR EARTHQUAKES
9
VENEZUELA FLOODS
10
HURRICANE GEORGES
11
Georges struck the eastern Caribbean. The
countries affected were St. Kitts and Nevis and
Antigua and Barbuda on September 20 and 21, and
the Dominican Republic and Haiti on September 22,
1998.
12
HURRICANE GEORGESDamage Report
  • DOMINICAN REPUBLIC At least 210 people reported
    dead, dozens missing. About 100,000 homeless.
    About 70 of bridges were damaged 90 of banana
    and other plantations were destroyed. Heavy
    flooding in Santo Domingo. Damages estimated at
    more than 1 billion.
  • HAITI 167 deaths reported. Sixty missing.
    Flooding in Port-au-Prince, Artibonite Valley,
    northern coast around Cap-Haitien. Dozens of
    homes destroyed.
  • CUBA Five deaths, thousands of homes destroyed.
    Nearly 20,000 homes flooded in Holguin province.
    Damage to coffee, cacao and banana crops.
    Electricity knocked out in some areas. 200,000
    people evacuated.
  • PUERTO RICO At least three people killed
    directly by the storm, nine others by heart
    attacks and other health complications, 28,000
    people in shelters. Hundreds of homes lost,
    near-total blackout, most water service lost.
    Damages surpass 2 billion.

13
HURRICANE GEORGESDamage Report
  • ANTIGUA Two dead, roofs ripped off hundreds of
    homes and businesses, main marinas damaged.
    Flooding along south coast towns. Hurricane
    caused island-wide power outage.
  • GUADELOUPE Flooding in northern towns,
    especially Anse-Bertrand. Moderate damage to
    homes.
  • ST. KITTS AND NEVIS Three dead, two missing. 85
    of homes damaged, 3,000 homeless. Damage
    estimated at 402 million. Hospitals, police
    stations, schools damaged. Severe damage to
    airport terminal, control tower. Both islands
    without electricity.
  • ANGUILLA Minor damage, temporary power outages.
  • BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS Flooding, temporarily
    closed some roads, temporary power outages.
  • U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS Several injured, moderate
    damage to homes, piers, some hotels, shops on St.
    Croix. 55 boats sunk. Widespread crop damage.

14
HURRICANE GEORGESDamage
15
HURRICANE GEORGESDamage
16
HURRICANE MITCH
17
HURRICANE MITCH
  • Hurricane Mitch was one of the strongest and most
    damaging storms to ever hit the Caribbean and
    Central America. Mitch grew to become the
    Atlantic basin's fourth strongest hurricane ever
    with sustained winds of 180 mph on October 26
    into early October 27, 1998, dumping heavy rains
    over Central America.
  • It was the strongest storm in the western
    Caribbean since Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. Mitch
    stalled off the coast of Honduras from late on
    Oct. 27 until the evening of Oct. 29 before
    moving slowly inland.

18
HURRICANE MITCH
19
HURRICANE MITCH
  • Honduras suffered the brunt of Hurricane Mitch.
    After being stalled for more than two days off
    the country's northern coast, the storm traveled
    inland on October 30 and 31. Extensive wind
    damage and devastating floods occurred
    nationwide, particularly along the northern
    seaboard and in the Bay Islands. As of December
    1, the National Emergency Committee of Honduras
    (CONEH) reported that 5,657 persons were killed,
    8,052 were missing, 11,762 were injured while
    approximately 1. 9 million were affected.

20
HURRICANE MITCH Damage Report
  • In Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and
    Guatemala, infrastructure (bridges and roads) was
    destroyed and damaged. This isolated entire
    communities making access by emergency aid
    workers extremely difficult hampering efforts to
    supply the larger cities with food, water and
    other essentials.
  • Thousands of homes were also affected by high
    winds and flooding
  • Severe impact on food security. Initial reports
    estimated that nearly 2 million people were in
    immediate need of food assistance. Emergency food
    aid was most critical during the first few weeks
    of the disaster response.
  • Negative impact on the agricultural sector as
    well. Cash crops were most severely affected,
    with the banana industry losing an estimated 90
    of its plants.
  • Serious health problems, due largely to lack of
    potable water and contamination of water sources.
  • More than 10 000 persons were killed 15,000 were
    missing 20 000 were injured while more than 3
    million were affected.

21
HURRICANE MITCHDamage
22
HURRICANE MITCHDamage
23
HURRICANE MITCHDamage
24
HURRICANE MITCHDamage
25
VENEZUELA FLOODS flash flood damage to
Universidad Bolivar campus. One-story buildings
in foreground are buried to rooftops with sediment
26
Two weeks of unrelenting rain led to flash
flooding in northern Venezuela during December,
2000. On December 16, the Government of Venezuela
declared a State of Emergency for eight states
and the Federal District of Caracas. The states
of Miranda and Vargas were particularly hard hit
Tanaguarena community
27
VENEZUELA FLOODS
  • Venezuela is one of the most urbanised countries
    in Latin America, with 85 of its people living
    in cities and towns. That figure is matched only
    by Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.
  • In several LAC countries the loss of forests has
    worsened the impact of heavy rains, as the water
    rushes quickly down to the nearest stream,
    unimpeded by tree roots and the soil.
  • It has been Venezuela's worst natural disaster in
    a half-century.
  • Around 190,000 persons were evacuated and 326
    military shelters were set up to house more than
    100,000 evacuees. In addition, 63,000 people
    received assistance in 280 shelters in different
    parts of the country and numerous families took
    in family members and friends.

28
Venezuela Floods Flashfloods transformed streets
into raging rivers and mudslides brought houses
crashing down hillsides Aerial view of
Carballeda showing massive deposition of sediment
delivered by flash floods
29
VENEZUELA FLOODS
  • Authorities declared nine northern states and
    Caracas disaster areas. Schools, banks and
    government offices were ordered closed, and
    officials urged residents to stay home.

30
VENEZUELA FLOODS
  • About 80,000 troops were mobilized to help in the
    rescue operation by air, sea and road.

31
VENEZUELA FLOODS
  • Joint Task Force played an important role for a
    fundamental and proper response.

32
VENEZUELA FLOODS Aerial view of Carballeda
showing newly opened channels in foreground and
center right of photograph
  • Today, it is estimated that the death toll stands
    at some 30,000 people and that 81,000 houses were
    affected, of which 30,000 were totally destroyed.
    In addition, the country suffered major economic
    losses and incurred significant environmental
    damage since massive mud slides swept away
    vegetation, leaving huge bare spaces on the
    mountain slopes

33
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34
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35
EL SALVADOR EARTHQUAKES
36
EL SALVADOR EARTHQUAKES
  • The largest earthquake occurred 13 January, 2001
    with a magnitude of 7.6. More than 800 deaths and
    thousands of injured people were reported. More
    than 1 000 000 people were affected and there was
    about 1 billion USD in material losses.
  • The second earthquake of 13 February (M6.5)
    caused approximately 305 deaths, more than 3000
    injured, 36 674 houses destroyed and large
    material losses.

37
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38
EL SALVADOR EARTHQUAKES DAMAGE
  • Economical losses equivalent to 13 GNP.
  • Approximately 20 of houses were destroyed or
    damaged.
  • Ample destruction of the road network.
  • Great impact to the health and education sectors.
  • About 20 of losses to the coffee sector.
  • Great damage to the small and medium industry.

39
DEATHS BY MUNICIPALITY
40
DIFERENT CIVIL SOCIETIES RESPONDED TO THE
EMERGENCY
41
HOUSES DESTROYED
42
LANDSLIDES
43
STRONG SUPPORT FROM NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL
MILITARY FORCES
44
SOME PROBLEMS DURING THE EMERGENCY
  • Need for better national coordination.
  • Lack of rapid and reliable scientific
    information.
  • Need of seismic monitoring and analysis.
  • Need of professionals (sociologists, earth
    scientists, etc.)
  • Strong pressure from society to be informed
    (considering right to information and education
    for prevention and response)

45
LACK OF ADEQUATE SHELTERS
46
IMPORTANT CONSEQUENCES FROM EL SALVADOR
EARTHQUAKE
  • Creation of a new governmental institution for
    disaster reduction, prevention and mitigation.
  • Greater regional integration for risk management.
  • More participation of Civil Society.
  • Proposal to consider risk reduction as a national
    and regional priority for sustainable
    development.

47
SOMETIMES DISASTERS DAMAGE SEVERAL COUNTRIES AT
THE SAME TIME HURRICANES, EARTHQUAKES
Transnational Disasters
48
TRANSNATIONAL DISASTERS
  • Common in small regions in which disasters
    affect several countries at the same time.
    Examples are the extreme climate events
    (droughts, floods, hurricanes) and earthquakes.
  • TD REQUIRE MANAGEMENT AT THE REGIONAL LEVEL

49
MAIN PROBLEM VULNERABILITY
  • Defined as the susceptibility of a Community or
    Nation to suffer damage and losses due to natural
    phenomena.

50
KIND OF VULNERABILITIES
  • Physical
  • Environmental
  • Geological
  • Technical
  • Social
  • Economical
  • Social
  • Political
  • Ideological
  • Cultural
  • Educative
  • Institutional

51
WHERE IS VULNERABILITY?
52
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53
OTHER FACTOR THAT PROMOTES VULNERABILITY
THIS IMPLIES THE NEED FOR PROMOTION OF A CULTURE
FOR DISASTER PREVENTION AND MITIGATION
54
Comparation of economical losses caused by recent
natural disasters (USD)
Hurricane Andrew, 1992 United States of
America US 29,500 millions
Mexican 1985 Earthquake US 6,197 millions
El Niño 1997-1998 Andean Community US 7,545
millions
Hurricane Mitch Central America US 6,018 millions
55
Economical Effects in these Countries
56
EXAMPLE OF PHYSICAL INFRASCTRUCTURE IN THE C.A.
REGION THAT CAN BE DAMAGED DURING A DISASTER
Transnational Roads
- Pacífico (1700 kms)
- Panamericano (1400 kms)
- Atlántico (1400 kms)
- Conexiones (1100 kms)
57
LOGISTICAL SERVICES
58
Steps for Physical Vulnerability Reduction
  • 1. Prediction of place, time of occurrence and
    magnitude of the event with the potential of
    causing a disaster.
  • 2. Warning to the community and/or the
    government, public and private institutions with
    the purpose of coordinating actions.
  • 3. Prevention (Mitigation) for an adequate use
    of land, establisment of building codes, etc.
  • 4. Preparation for taking measures established
    during the prevention phase. Information and
    communication systems are required as well as
    contingency and evacuation plans, etc.
  • 5. Response adequate and according to the
    disaster extension and in coordination with
    national and international activities of search
    and rescue and humanitarian assistance.
  • Physical Vulnerability reduction can be achieved
    through the introduction of appropriate building
    standards and codes, mitigation policy, city
    planning, and hazard mapping.

59
NEEDS FOR PREPARATION AND RESPONSE DURING THE
EMERGENCY
  • Although the monitoring and the technical
    regional information problem is solved, it is
    still required
  • 1. Development of social programs for warning
    transmission to population in risk and training
    of groups for response.
  • 2. Programs of public conscientiation and
    regional strenghtening for preparation and
    response to the emergency.

60
SOME POSSIBLE AREAS OF COOPERATION FOR
HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE
  • Strenghtening of Emergency Operation Centers.
  • Development of Regional Monitoring Systems
    Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Tsunamis, Hurricanes,
    etc.
  • Development of Communications during Emergencies.
  • Training in Search and Rescue.
  • Strenghtening of Programs for Public Health and
    Medical Assistance.
  • Logistic.
  • Programs for Food Security.
  • Support to Public Work and Engineering.

61
IMPORTANT TO PROMOTE THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS IN
ALL SECTORS (Political, Financial, Social, etc.)
  • Which of my ongoing activities are vulnerable?.
  • Which of my ongoing activities increase
    vulnerabilty?.
  • Which of my activities can help to reduce
    vulnerabilty?.

62
GRACIAS!
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