October 14, 2005
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has dispatched more than 60 international and national staff to assist Guatemalans affected by the flooding and landslides caused by Tropical Storm Stan. MSF is now providing relief in the most-affected areas of the country and has made donations of first-aid kits and potable water. Teams are working in the Retaluhleu, Escuintla, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, and Solola departments, and Coatepeque city.
Atitlan Lake Area, Solola Department
Three logisticians, a doctor, and a nurse first arrived in the Lake Atitlan area on Friday, October 7, and carried out assessments in the towns of Santiago de Atitlan and San Pedro Laguna, which were reported to be severely affected by the storm, and with at least 3,000 people living in 18 provisional shelters. Two MSF trucks carrying 7,000 kilograms of relief materials (including a basic emergency medical materials, blankets, mattresses, and drinkable water) that arrived in the area on Saturday, October 8. On Tuesday, October 11, an additional truck carrying 4,500 kilogram of relief supplies was sent to the area. Those supplies included plastic sheeting, blankets, and materials for purifying 22,000 liters of drinkable water.
MSF is continuing to monitor the health needs in the area, as well as the water-and-sanitation situation. The current team in the area is composed of a nurse and a logistician.
Retaluhleu and Escuintla Departments
MSF accessed the area by helicopter. An MSF vehicle delivered two emergency medical kits to Champerico (population of 8,000). The team, consisting of a doctor and a logistician are providing assistance with these supplies and monitoring the situation.
Santa Rosa Department
MSF has carried out assessments in Chiquimulilla and several surrounding villages. There are now approximately 850 people living in 3 shelters. MSF organized a health committee in one of the shelters and made a donation of chlorine, hygiene, and health supplies.
More than 3,000 wells may be contaminated in Chiquimulilla, and MSF is assessing the need for cleaning and disinfecting these wells. MSF has also carried out assessments in San Marcos and the surrounding villages, donating two emergency medical kits in Tacana in San Marcos zone.
Coatepeque grew from 3,000 to 11,000 people after Stan hit last week. MSF carried out medical consultations in a shelter for 400 people displaced by the storm before it closed on Wednesday, October 12. The team is now coordinating the response to medical needs in Coatepeque and providing medical consultations in various shelters.
Access to Ocós (where there are an estimated 350 families) from Coatepeque remains difficult. Seventy percent of the housing there has been destroyed. MSF has opened a small clinic and supply center.
MSF is continuing to do assessments in the isolated areas to identify other unmet needs of the affected populations.
© 2013 Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)