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Cablegate: Situation Report 1: Tropical Storm Alma

VZCZCXRO7744
OO RUEHLMC
DE RUEHMU #0693 1512304
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 302304Z MAY 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2679
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE 5615
RUEHTG/AMEMBASSY TEGUCIGALPA 4233
RUEHGT/AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA 2903
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 5283
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0140
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0363
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS MANAGUA 000693

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CEN
DEPT ALS FOR WHA/FO AND CA/OCA
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO USAID/LAC FOR JCARDENAS,
USAID/OFDA FOR KLUU, AFERRERA, ACONVERY, RTHAYER AND SBISWAS
USAID/DCHA FOR MHESS AND GGOTTLIEB
USAID/FFP FOR CLAURENT
SAN JOSE FOR USAID/OFDA TIM CALLAGHAN
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
USUN FOR IMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PGOV MOPS AEMR KPAO CASC NU
SUBJECT: Situation Report 1: Tropical Storm Alma

REF: Managua 0688

1. SUMMARY: According to the Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies (INETER), Tropical Storm Alma exited Nicaragua at approximately 8:00 pm on May 29, 2008. A preliminary damage assessment in Leon, Chinandega, Managua, Carazo and Rivas departments carried out by the Nicaraguan National Disaster Agency (SINAPRED) indicates that damage to houses, particularly damage to roofs, is widespread. During the storm, over 4000 persons were evacuated. Two deaths were reported. SINAPRED and the Nicaraguan Civil Defense reported an immediate need for basic food supplies for those remaining in shelters. The majority of those evacuated in the initial response have returned to their homes. A USAID/OFDA team arrived in Managua May 30 and is en route to affected areas to carry out a more complete needs assessment. END SUMMARY

2. INETER reported that Tropical Storm Alma departed Nicaragua at
8:00 pm on May 29. It was downgraded to a tropical depression, with
diminished wind and rainfall.

3. SINAPRED information was based on reports made at 6:00 am on May 30, with more precise numbers regarding physical damage to structures throughout the affected regions. The latest information indicates that 222 houses were flooded, 460 were partially damaged and 12 houses were destroyed by either wind or water damage.

A. SINAPRED also estimates that 4,036 persons were evacuated in the
five affected regions, 787 families in total.

B. In addition, power lines and potable water sources were severely
damaged, particularly in the greater Leon City area. Telephone
lines are also down in Leon and Chinandega due to falling trees and
branches. Communications to these areas remain difficult due to
lack of land telephone lines.

USG ASSISTANCE

4. A three-person USAID/OFDA team is on the ground, en route for
Chinandega and Leon departments to assess damage. They will meet
with local NGO representatives to collect more information and
determine the most efficient response to emergency needs.

5. USAID/OFDA approved the Ambassador's May 29 request for emergency relief funds and has just provided $50,000 to cover shelter materials such as zinc roofing sheets to affected families.

6. A press release on the U.S. donation was issued at 4 pm Managua
time.

TRIVELLI

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