Heavy rains beginning on November 21 have flooded areas in Kuna Yala District, CoclÃ© and ColÃƒÂ³n provinces, and the Capira, Chorrera, and Chepo districts of Panama Province. The flooding has killed 11 people and affected over 4,500, of whom more than 1,200 have been displaced or injured, according to the Panamanian Emergency Response Agency (SINAPROC). In addition, SINAPROC reported that flood waters have destroyed hundreds of homes, damaged hundreds more and that overflowing rivers and landslides have isolated approximately 40 communities.
On November 24, U.S. Ambassador to Panama William Alan Eaton declared a disaster due to the effects of the flooding. In response, USAID provided an initial $50,000 for the local purchase and transport of relief supplies. Additionally, USAID has provided SINAPROC with 1,200 water jugs and 2,000 hygiene kits valued at nearly $57,000. The Department of Defense provided a team of 35 people to assist with the relief response and relief supplies were also airlifted to remote areas by U.S. military helicopters.
USAID disaster specialists are currently on the ground and will continue to work with USAID/Panama to monitor the situation and provide additional updates as necessary.
For more information about USAID, visit the Web site at www.usaid.gov