International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean   

Newsletter ISDR Inform - Latin America and the Caribbean
Issue: 13/2006- 12/2006 - 11/2005 - 10/2005 - 9/2004 - 8/2003 - 7/2003 - 6/2002 - 5/2002 - 4/2001- 3/2001

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Prevention Pays

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Evaluating the response and preparedness for
Hurricane George and Mitch

The wounds that both Hurricane George and Mitch left in the Caribbean and Central America during the months of October and November in 1998 will be long remembered. Both names will never be used for hurricanes again. But – these are not the last ones to come….and the devastation is not "Godīs will". The interaction between nature and vulnerable conditions created by human beings determine the risks we face.

The results of these major hurricanes in 1998 and the coping capacities, preparedness, early warning mechanisms and recovery of the affected countries, along with the interaction with international cooperation, has been subject for many meetings and seminars so far. The Central American Presidents have declared their intention to start the "transformation of Central America", not only the recovery to similar conditions as before Mitch, but to build a safer society.

Many of the reports and proposals of such meetings are collected and presented in this BIBLIODES, from sectors as health, hydro-meteorology, agriculture, civil defense among others. The report from the meeting "Evaluation of the Preparedness for and Response to Hurricanes Georges and Mitch",s held February 16-19, 1999, in the Dominican Republic gathered 400 national and international participants, covened by PAHO/WHO, supported by IDNDR, OCHA, UNDP and UNICEF. The final document from the meetings is available on the meeting website at

The objective of these get-togethers are to learn lessons, to re-direct policies, copying capacities and risk reduction measures to reduce the impact of future events.


In the Wake of Hurricane Mitch, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Come Together to Cooperate in Disaster Prevention

The Mexican Government, through its Foreign Affairs Secretariat, invited all Central American and Caribbean countries to a three day workshop, 26-28 April, 99, to discuss possible cooperation on disaster prevention among the countries in the region. The meeting was convened to discuss possibilities for technical cooperation in the reconstruction phase of Hurricane Mitch.

IDNDR presented the scope of the final phase of the Decade and urged the countries to take into account the review of achievements and future arrangements for disaster reduction in their proposals.v

For more information, contact: Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores,Lic. Marco Antonio Alcazar Ayala, Mexico. Email:


Severe Hurricane Season Forecast For Atlantic Basin 1999

According to an AP newswire from Orlando, Florida, the next hurricane season over the Atlantic Basin will likely be as severe as last year’s. The season is expected to start on 1 June and continue until 30 November.

The Atlantic Basin includes the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Expert meteorologist William Gray, of the University of Colorado, predicted at the National Hurricane Conference that the 1999 season will feature at least 14 storms significant enough to bear a name. Of them, he said, nine will be hurricanes and four will be of lesser but still considerable magnitude.

According to Gray, climate changes in the Atlantic have led to a warming of the waters and an increase in their salinity, causing a greater number of storms. The cyclic changes underway since last year, he said, have not been seen since the 1960s.

Most Caribbean countries are planning to launch awareness-raising and prevention campaigns starting in the first week of June.