Lecture on Emergency Preparedness for the El Niño Phenomenon

Tiempo de lectura | Reading time: 4 minutos

Por Antonieta Valenzuela

In order to inform and promote emergency preparedness in San Quintín, Terra Peninsular A.C. along with the Asociación de Oceanólogos de México A.C. (Oceanographers Association of Mexico A.C.) organized the lecture series entitled “Dissemination of Risks and Emergency Preparedness against the El Niño Phenomenon.”

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More than 60 people attended the information forum that was held on February 18, 2016 at Posada Don Diego in Vicente Guerrero, in San Quintín. During the event, the participants were able to clarify questions concerning the impacts of the El Niño phenomenon.

The program included lectures by Cuauhtémoc Turrent Thompson, PhD, researcher at the Department of Physical Oceanography at CICESE; Miguel A. Tellez Duarte, PhD, professor of Geology at the Faculty of Marine Sciences of UABC; and the Director of Municipal Civil Denfense, Arturo Granados González, EMT.
During their presentations, the speakers agreed on the importance of sharing information with the community about the El Niño phenomenon and its possible effects in Ensenada, San Quintin and their surroundings; they also insisted on promoting the culture of emergency preparadness due to the risk of potentially heavy rains in the region.

The event began with a lecture by Turrent Thompson who talked about “El Niño and its Effects on Precipitation in Baja California;” he said that El Niño is described as warm water that has accumulated at the western side of the Pacific Ocean, and heavy rains is one of its known effects.

On the other hand, Tellez spoke about “El Niño, Rain and Geological Risk,” and described the main risks of rain that include: floods, mudslides and landslides. He invited the community to raise public awareness, educate on the culture of emergency preparadness, and the importance of understanding natural phenomena as well as to understand landscapes before building, and to avoid building in sites near rivers, streams and hillsides.

Tellez also explained that public safety, economic costs and human lives are at stake if we do not develop emergency preparedness plans for communities. He also showed some photographs to demonstrate the effects of flooding in urban and rural areas of Baja California.

To end the lecture series, the Director of Municipal Civil Defense, Arturo Granados González, presented, “Preventive Measures before the Rain Season,” and talked about the overview of the risk areas.

He showed the polygons of the San Quintín region that would be flooded so the community is aware. In addition, he explained that the analysis of these polygons is being constantly reinforced through the participation and Civil Defense neighborhood committees. Finally, he said that shelters, with enough space capacity, that could be used in case of an incident are always being identified, and he added that it is crucial to keep the community informed to avoid major disasters on the area.