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Argentina: Landslide - DREF Final Report (MDRAR012)

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A. Situation Analysis

Description of the Disaster

Starting in early January 2017, floods, landslides and mudslides caused by heavy rainfall in different locations caused damage to several communities in the Jujuy province.

On 10 January 2017, 90 per cent of the homes in the city of Volcán was affected by mudslides and rocks washing down from surrounding hills. Access routes were severely damage. According to the ARC assessments in the area, 2,666 people were affected, 446 people were evacuated, 667 dwellings were destroyed and 2 people died during the emergency.

Mud accumulation was up to a metre and a half high in some areas Hundreds of people were left isolated, unable to enter or leave the city for more than 24 hours. Tourists and communities were left unable to access basic services, health care, or return to their homes.

More than 250 people in the communities of Tumbaya and Bárcena (located to the north and south of Volcán, respectively) were also affected. Homes were flooded and to a lesser extent, the mud and rocks. During the first week of the emergency, health services, access by land, telecommunication services and radio communications were completely disrupted. Local infrastructure was also damaged.

The Jujuy provincial government declared Volcán a disaster area and declared a province-wide state of emergency. In Jujuy, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Interior requested assistance from the Argentine Red Cross. Commercial activities and public and private services resumed, and affected communities have begun the rebuilding process.

Summary of current response

Overview of Host National Society

On 10 January, the ARC branch in Jujuy reported the landslides in Volcán to their national headquarters. Not many details were known at the time since the city was incommunicado; the branch deployed a six-person team (including the General Coordinator) to the affected area to conduct a rapid assessment of the situation.

The Jujuy branch is one of the most recent branches open in Argentina. It has been functioning for less than a year. The following day, an Argentine Red Cross National Intervention Team (NIT) member and a technical team from the branch in Salta, (located some 150 km from the emergency area) were deployed to support the rapid and detailed assessment.

The Argentine Red Cross central headquarters immediately activated the National Response System and its information channels: Disaster Risk Management Information System (SIGRID), Disaster Management Information System (DMIS), communication with national companies that support ARC response efforts, civil society organizations, etc.

A total of 151 volunteers and staff from ARC branches in San Salvador de Jujuy, Salta, Luján, Saavedra, Santos Lugares, San Andrés, Zárate, Chacabuco and Córdoba were deployed to support emergency response efforts and the general implementation of the Plan of Action.

Overview of the Red Cross - Red Crescent Movement in the country

In Argentina, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) provides assistance and support to Southern cone countries through its country cluster support team in Buenos Aires. In emergencies and disasters, National Societies in this sub-region have additionally assistance and support from the IFRC disaster and crises unit located in the Americas Regional Office (ARO), as well as the disaster management coordinator for South America, based in Peru. Throughout the operation, the disaster management coordinator and the head of the CCST maintained constant contact with the National Society.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), with representation in the country, conducts activities specific to its mandate such as working with authorities to integrate, implement and disseminate International Humanitarian Law and international standards on the use of force. The ICRC also strengthens the ARC's capacity to address emergencies in contexts of violence and crises and offer restoring family links (RFL) services.

Movement Coordination

In addition to coordination with the IFRC, the ARC has kept the ICRC and Partner National Societies (PNSs) in the region abreast of the situation.

Movement coordination mechanisms are up-to-date in the country. A Tripartite Agreement between the ARC, ICRC and IFRC was signed in March 2015. This agreement has the objective of maximizing the Movement's overall capacity to fulfil its humanitarian mission and strengthen the capacities of the Argentine Red Cross.

The ICRC provided technical support to the ARC’s restoring family links activities, as well as organizing inductions for the staff and volunteers in this area.