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Emergency Response Update: 2024 Severe Weather Floods

  • June 21, 2024
  • Climate Change
  • Late on May 26, Typhoon Ewiniar slammed into the Philippines, bringing heavy rains and floods to the provinces of Quezon and Laguna. More than 52,000 people sought shelter in evacuation centers.

Already this year, severe and deadly floods have displaced hundreds of thousands of people. In Brazil, Colombia, the Philippines, Tanzania and, in the United States, Texas. Americares is providing critical aid and restoring access to health services for flood survivors. With an active Atlantic hurricane season already underway with Tropical Storm Alberto, Americares is prepared to respond to more flood disasters in the months to come.

Brazil Floods

A week of record-breaking rainfall in southern Brazil in May caused severe flooding, landslides and a dam collapse, killing over 170 people and forcing more than 600,000 people from their homes. Americares immediately offered emergency funding to support mobile medical teams and distribution of relief supplies to survivors.

Americares also provided emergency funding to a local partner, Ação da Cidadania Contra a Fome a Miséria e Pela Vida, to purchase needed supplies, including hygiene kits, cleaning kits and clean drinking water for communities in the flood-affected areas.

Colombia Floods and Dam Burst

On May 8, after days of heavy rain, the Caregato Dam in northern Colombia ruptured, flooding communities and crops throughout the La Mojana region. More than 7,800 people evacuated; the floodwaters damaged over 1,000 homes.

Americares Colombia team deployed staff to the La Mojjana region with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection to assess survivor’s immediate and long-term needs. Americares response also includes emergency funding for local health facilities, a water purification system to ensure survivors have access to clean drinking water, distribution of hygiene kits and educational outreach to promote health and safety.

Americares will continue to work with the Departmental Health Secretariat, municipal mayors and community leaders to fill gaps and strengthen the local health care system to restore access to health services for survivors.

Philippines Typhoon and Floods

In late May, Americares deployed a response team from our Manila office to provide emergency aid to communities flooded by heavy rains from Typhoon Ewiniar. The storm, known locally as Typhoon Aghon, forced more than 50,000 people from their homes and damaged more than 7,000 homes in the Quezon and Laguna provinces. Americares emergency response included a water treatment and filtration system to supply survivors with safe water, cleaning kits and information on handwashing and hygiene to protect people from infection after extensive flooding.

Tanzania Floods

When heavy rains and strong winds tore through the Pwani region in Tanzania in early April, Americares Tanzania team responded, providing medicine and medical supplies to health facilities serving displaced survivors. The storms and floods killed more than 150 people and forced 2,800 survivors from their homes and caused Tanzania’s largest river, the Rufiji River, to overflow. Americares team worked alongside members of the local government to conduct an assessment and plan for immediate and long-term response. At the same time, Americares was also responding to an outbreak of cholera, a waterborne disease, in Tanzania, providing critical supplies for more than 60,000 people and training for health workers.

United States: Texas Storms

Severe weather including tornadoes tore across the middle of the United States in late April, leaving four people dead and a trail of injuries, property damage and flooding. In Beaumont, Texas, where days of heavy rain flooded roads and buildings, Americares provided emergency funding to Ubi Caritas to cover the costs of repairs to the building and critical systems. Ubi Caritas serves the more than 38,000 people in the Beaumont/Jefferson County area who lack health insurance.

Floods are the most common natural disaster around the world. Climate change has increased the risk of major flooding — even for areas previously less susceptible to extreme weather events.

Americares has responded to many severe floods, including in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona, in Libya after Tropical Storm Daniel and in Pakistan after monsoon rains. Americares responds in the immediate aftermath and evaluates how to best support survivors, while also continuing to work with local partners long after the floodwaters recede to restore health services and rebuild more resilient communities.

Americares will continue to adjust its responses to these crises as needed to ensure the short- and long-term needs of survivors are met.