20 June, 2006

Nicaragua: Pacific Coast Storm Causes High Waves & Flooding

MarĂ­a Auxiliadora, an Assistant Executive Director at the Civil Defense command post of the Army of Nicaragua sent us the following information via email, which is a special report for affected areas outlined by emergency crews in the Western Pacific (CHINANDEGA DEPARTMENT) regarding the destruction caused by the waves as a result of the tropical storm and the ongoing relief operations in Nicaragua:

As of the Sunday, the 18th of June 2006, the first wave surges took place on the Pacific coasts, concentrating themselves in the communities of: Step Horse, Poneloya and Jiquilillo. the community from Jiquilillo were affected by this situation since the waves pentrated inwards with heights of up to 200 meters. The destruction caused by these waves included vast damage to 20 houses and 25 families with approximately 188 people (65 children, 75 adolescents and 48 adults) who are located in the coasts. Their housing structures and storage facilities for fishermen stock that were swept away by the waves, were mainly built from palms and other types of materials. This situation according to INETER (The Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies) were due to the movement and the strong winds that whipped the zone at the time during the last winter, the situation which was anticipated earlier continued during the night that is when the wind speed started to increase.

Relief Operations that have been carried out (some still ongoing):

1. Transfer of the Executive Secretary from the SINAPRED (National System for Disaster Prevention) on Monday 19th of June to the affected areas to assess the situation. The Regional Civil defense and 2 staff from the CMR on Sunday 18th of June, initiated and started awareness work while advising the fishermen community to take safety measures directed to guarantee their security.

2. Evacuation of 25 families with approximately 188 people, towards the Aurelia Carrasco school, located 5 kms on the highway to the Old one.

3. The Head of Regional Civil defense maintains their presence in the affected areas and are developing the necessary coordinations with the local institutions for providing required attention and care to those affected/displaced.

4. The Executive Secretary of the SINAPRED was informed by the Civil defense on the situation presented/displayed in these communities and he was accompanied during a deployment to the affected areas, he took the opportunity to talk with the fishermen of the zone on the safety measures that the Civil defense are implementing as a result of the situation.

During this emergency the following aid from resource stocks were made available:

> 75 military personnel of the 2 CMR and 3 trucks
> 12 firemen and 1 tanker.
> 6 vehicles and 1 ambulance.

Civil defense will continue monitoring this situation and we will be providing information and assistance to affected persons when they require help.

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