Case Study

Environmental action in response to the Peru Earthquake: an example of best practices

This document details the Rapid Environmental Assessment (REA) conducted by the UN Environment/OCHA Joint Unit (JEU) following the response to an earthquake in Peru in 2007.

In August 2007, a major earthquake struck southern Peru, with the majority of damage occurring in the departamento of Ica. Immediately, the JEU compiled a Hazard Identification Tool (HIT), identifying mining activities, hydropower dams and the metallurgic industry as potential threats. Following a request from the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team which was deployed to the affected area in August-September, the JEU deployed two environmental experts from the Center for Scientific Support in Disaster Situations (CENACID) of the Federal University of Paran, Brazil to undertake a rapid environmental assessment. They identified debris and hazardous waste, including health-care waste, as acute issues requiring immediate attention.

As a result of their efforts, government authorities agreed to move debris dumping from a natural reserve to a more suitable area, and also purchased two incinerators to deal with hospital waste. The authorities also distributed the Emergency Waste Management guidelines, developed by the JEU, to raise awareness of the need to properly handle waste to ensure public safety and to minimize the impact on the environment.

Consult the original results of the Rapid Environmental Assessment here.

Consult a summary of the event here.

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