Panama – Severe rains in Panama are causing flooding and landslides that are threatening vulnerable communities and economic activities in two major provinces, Colon and Panama. The Panamanian Red Cross is assisting with search and rescue missions*, pre-hospital care and early damage assessments, and estimates that at least 800 families have been directly affected by the disaster.
The American Red Cross has a longstanding relationship with the Panamanian Red Cross, which includes disaster risk reduction efforts through the multi-year Latin America Risk Reduction Activity program (LARRA). The American Red Cross is providing logistical support and approximately $35,000 worth of relief supplies in the form of blankets and hygiene kits that will be shipped from the regional warehouse in Panama. We will remain in close communication with the Panamanian Red Cross and other national societies in the region as the situation develops.
*The American Red Cross is saddened to learn of the deaths of two Panamanian Red Cross relief volunteers, Jorge Aleman and Fernando Johnson. Aleman, the Director of Disaster Operations for the Panamanian Red Cross and former LARRA coordinator for the American Red Cross in Panama, and Johnson, National Director of Volunteers for the Panamanian Red Cross, were killed when their pickup truck became trapped in a landslide and road collapse while traveling back from conducting damage and needs assessments in response to the disaster.