International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean   

Meetings & conferences on disaster reduction

Newsletter for Latin America and the Caribbean        Inssue No. 15, 1999


Disaster-related documents: the Documentation Unit of the National Disaster Prevention Centre (CENAPRED), Mexico City
Leticia Ruiz Elizalde and Ana Cecilia Hernández Linares
Unidad de Documentación CENAPRED, México

The Documentation Unit was created with a view to integrating and updating bibliographical information about disaster research and prevention, mitigation and reconstruction methods and plans.

The collection includes information about geological, hydrometeorological, chemical, sanitary and social-organizational issues. Papers, research projects, work plans, technical reports, emergency plans, theses and other documents are available.

The book collection includes 1,700 titles and 2,800 volumes, classified according to the US Library of Congress classification system.

The periodicals collection includes 175 titles such as bulletins, magazines and yearbooks.

Both collections are included in a database employing the SIABUC 2000 Win software of the Integrated Automatic Library System of the University of Colima, which allows users to identify publications by author, title or subject.

The vertical file is a collection of brochures and pamphlets containing brief information on phenomena that can cause disasters.

The newsfile includes articles about national and international disasters from 1990 to date, from three Mexican newspapers: El Universal, La Jornada and Reforma.

A collection donated by the National Autonomous University of Mexico focuses on newspaper reports on the 1985 Mexico City Earthquake.

At present, the newsfile is being recorded in an Access database so that in future researchers can find it easier to locate information on any kind of natural phenomenon, including statistical data, loss of lives and assets, and other relevant information.

Public services include:

• External loans (through inter-library agreements)
• Internal loans
• Queries
• Assistance to users
• Photocopies


Most of the collection has been obtained through the donation of specialized publications by national and international organizations. Since this type of material is hard to come by, the Documentation Unit will be grateful for the donation of a copy of any publication related to disasters and disaster prevention.

For more information, please contact:
Avenida Delfín Madrigal número 665,
colonia Pedregal de Santo Domingo Coyoacán,
México D.F. c.p. 04360
Tel (525) 56069942, 56068111, 56069520
extensión 17034.
Temporary Web site address: