Heavy rains in Central America in November 2010

On 18 August 2014 the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated for floods and landslides in the Republic of Panama at the request of the USGS on behalf of SINAPROC / Chiriqui Province / Municipality of Tierra Alta.

The disaster occurred in Chiriqui Province because of heavy rain on 17 August. The rain caused the Chiriqui Viejo River to burst its banks in Chiriqui Province, which led to flooding in the city of Cerro Punta. It has caused 9 casualties and destroyed over twenty homes, making almost 100 individuals homeless. The President of the Republic of Panama has declared a state of... read more

Publishing Date: 20/08/2014
Participants of the course “Mapping and Application of GPS” offered by CATHALAC

On 23 February 2014, CATHALAC finished its training course “Mapping and Application of GPS” which offered professionals in Latin America and the Caribbean a deeper understanding of using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) for mapping.

The course allowed the participants to learn and strengthen their basic understanding of cartography, so that it could be easily applied in their daily activities with the use of GPS. Participants had the opportunity to handle GPS navigation systems, take coordinates such as “waypoint", "Route" and "track" parameters, and learned how to use GPS tools for smartphones as well as how to export GPS data to a GIS format using a open source application.

CATHALAC will continue with the development of this and other related training courses, therefore helping to... read more

Publishing Date: 24/03/2014
In some areas, rainfall was 1839 percent above the average

Between December 24 and 25, 2013, the eastern Caribbean islands of Dominica, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were affected by torrential rains which triggered massive flooding and local landslides. The Associated Press reported that on the three islands, there were some 20 casualties. The Prime Ministers of those countries declared the state of national disaster, and even the head of the Organization of American States gave a statement on the tragedy.

In response to requests coming from the affected countries, and in the context of CATHALAC's role as a UN... read more

Publishing Date: 30/01/2014
Participants discussed recent advances, challenges and needs.

UN-SPIDER participated in the Regional Consultation and Awareness Raising Workshop on Integral Disaster Risk Management in Central America which took place in Panama City, Panama, from 26 to 28 November 2013. The workshop was organised by the regional office of United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) for the Americas, by the Central American Coordination Centre for Natural Disaster... read more

Publishing Date: 02/12/2013

UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office located in Panama, the Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean (CATHALAC), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Panama signed the Center´s host country agreement on 11 July 2012. The instrument was duly signed by His Excellency Roberto C. Henríquez, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Panama and CATHALAC's Director General, in the presence of Francisco Álvarez De Soto, Vice Minister of Foreign affairs, at the Republic of Panama's Bolívar Palace.

"The signing of this instrument is an important step towards cementing CATHALAC's intergovernmental endeavors across the humid tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean as well as highlighting Panama's leadership in integrated water resources management in the Hemisphere", stated CATHALAC´s Director General, Emilio Sempris.

Publishing Date: 27/07/2012

The Pan American Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) organized a Crisis Workshop during the annual meeting of the Commissions of PAIGH. The workshop took place on 13 and 14 June 2011 in Panama.

Under the umbrella of their annual meeting of Commissions, PAIGH together with USGS conducted a regional workshop on the use of geo-spatial information in case of crises such as natural disasters. UN-SPIDER was a member of the organizing committee of this workshop and gave a presentation on its activities in general and in the region in particular. Participants from different countries participated, and UN-SPIDER took the opportunity to discuss with representatives... read more

Publishing Date: 01/07/2011
Regional Support Offices mentioned:

Panama-based CATHALAC (Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean) is the new UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office for Latin America and the Caribbean after signing a cooperation agreement with The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). CATHALAC’s participation as a Regional Support Office for UN-SPIDER includes promoting the development and strengthening of national capacities in Latin American and the Caribbean countries, providing horizontal cooperation and technical assistance to the countries and organizations involved in disaster... read more

Publishing Date: 26/04/2010


145 people affected, 57 houses damaged by floods after heavy rains struck the capital on the night of the 20 May.

Source : Glide number

According to Panamenian Civil Protection (SINAPROC), an earthquake measuring a magnitudo of 6.0 hit the country later at night damaging 8 houses and affecting 32 people.


Sources : Glide number


Ressources from OCHA/Reliefweb : click here

At least 186 people have been affected by heavy rains in Los Santos Province since late October.


Since 19 November, a high pressure system caused a heavy rain and floods. Rivers overflowed and floods caused landslides mainly affecting the provinces of Darien and Colon.


Relief has been delivered to population affected by floods, heavy rains and landslides in the province of Panama.

Source: glidenumber

Due to the effect of a low pressure system in the Caribbean Sea interacting with... read more

National Focal Point

Sistema Nacional de Proteccion Civil (SINAPROC) de la Republica de Panama

Contact Person
Mr Jorge Rodriguez
Jefe del Departamento de Organización Comunitaria


Sistema de Protección Civil (SINAPROC) de la República de Panamá

Persona de Contacto
Sr. Jorge Rodriguez
Jefe del Departamento de Organización Comunitaria



CATHALAC is an international organization established in 1992 at the service of the humid tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean. Its objective is to promote sustainable development through applied research and development, education and technology transfer on water resources and the environment.


Le mécanisme SERVIR est une association entre la NASA et l’Agence des Etats-Unis pour le Développement International (USAID) qui intègre les observations par satellite, données terrestres et des modèles de prévisions pour aider les états d’Amérique Centrale, Afrique de l’Est et de l’Himalaya à évaluer les menaces environnementales et y répondre ainsi qu’à évaluer les dégâts causés par les catastrophes naturelles. SERVIR est un mécanisme multi-agences, multi-gouvernemental avec plus de 30 partenaires et collaborateurs et est appuyé par les gouvernements d’Amérique Centrale, Afrique et la région Himalaya Hindu-Kush d’Asie. Son Bureau de Coordination se trouve aux Etats-Unis et est soutenu par trois centres régionaux : le Centre Régional de Cartographie des Ressources pour le Développement (RCMRD) au Kenya, le Centre International pour le Développement Intégré des Montagnes au Népal et le... read more

The SERVIR mechanism is a joint venture between NASA and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It integrates satellite observations, ground-based data and forecast models to help developing nations in Central America, East Africa and the Himalayas to assess environmental threats and to respond to and assess damage from disasters of natural origin. SERVIR is a multi-agency, multi-government mechanism, with over 30 partners and collaborators and is endorsed by governments in Central America, Africa and the Hindu-Kush Himalaya... read more

SERVIR es un mecanismo conjunto entre NASA y la Agencia para Desarrollo Internacional de los Estados Unidos (USAID) que integra observaciones desde satélites, datos de campo y modelos de pronóstico para ayudar a países en vías de desarrollo en América Central, África del Este y la región de los Himalayas a estimar peligros ambientales y para responder y estimar los daños en caso de desastres desencadenados por amenazas naturales. SERVIR es un mecanismo que involucra a múltiples agencias y gobiernos con más de 30 socios y colaboradores y es respaldado por gobiernos en América Central, África y en la región del Hindukusk de los Himalayas en Asia. Tiene su Oficina de Coordinación en los Estados Unidos y está apoyado por tres centros regionales: el Centro Regional de Cartografía y Recursos para el Desarrollo (RCMRD) en Kenia; el Centro Internacional para el Desarrollo Integrado de Montañas (ICIMOD) en Nepal; y el Centro del Agua del Trópico Húmedo para América Latina y el Caribe (... read more

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