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Friday, August 01 2014 @ 09:52 AM EDT

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Who Supervises Safety Regulations?

Safety & SecurityThe non-compliance of fire safety regulations in buildings, residences and shopping centers in Panama is exposed every time there is a major disaster. This scene repeats itself over and over again. Government entities throw the ball at each other to determine who is responsible of monitoring the compliance of the legal regulations.

The National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC), firefighters and municipalities constantly argue about the legal regulations and at the end, no one knows who is responsible for what.

Statistics from the Fire Department reveal that Panama, Colon and Chiriqui are on the top of the list regarding fire incidents. In 2012, 632 fires were reported in buildings, homes and commercial establishments. In the first quarter of the year, there were over 180 cases reported.

The SINAPROC director, Arturo Alvarado, said in several of these cases they have found that the safety standards are not being followed, especially in buildings.

He mentions, for example, in the “intelligent building” Global Bank there were serious problems at the beginning, which were then corrected. The lack of signs and double impact locks on doors that prevent the access of the rescuers are some of the issues. “The fire department and the SINAPROC should intervene when there is a complaint filed,” he said.

Alvarado said the responsibility falls on the Fire Department. “They are responsible for giving occupancy permits for residences, buildings or malls. But first must verify that all the security instruments and equipment are intact. Also, they must conduct annual or periodical inspections so there is no damage or to see if they have been replaced.”

The Lieutenant of the Firefighters, Eduardo Small, said “according to Law 10 that reorganizes the institution, the responsibility of fire prevention safety relies on each citizen or administrator.”

The buildings and shopping centers must have class ABC fire extinguishers, fire ceiling sprinklers, smoke detectors, fire hoses, evacuation signs, emergency stairs, but no one is certain about who must watch over this responsibility. (Estrella)

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Fire In El Chorillo

Safety & SecurityAt 19th Street, in el Chorrillo, the Panama Fire Department reports a fire this afternoon of two old wooden mansions.

According to preliminary reports, the incident is recorded very close to the famous park "Los Aburridos".

For the moment the cause of the fire is ignored, it is feared to be extended to other properties located in that area.(Prensa)

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High Tides Reaching 17.7 Feet High in The Pacific Shore

Safety & SecurityThe National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC) warned of high tides ranging from 15.6 feet to 17.7 feet in the Pacific shore of Panama.

According to the director of SINAPROC, Arturo Alvarado, these tides are expected starting on Thursday, May 23.

These high tides will remain until Tuesday, May 31, according to the report. Also, if it rains as well, it may increase the levels of rivers and streams, causing floods in vulnerable areas.

"On Thursday, in the Pacific shore, the stronger waves for this year might be recorded, according to satellite models; waves which will prevail until Saturday, May 25," said Alvarado.

In that sense, he recommends the inhabitants of the communities affected by the sea to be cautious; these communities are: Gonzalo Vasquez, Boca La Caja, Puerto Caimito, Playa Leona, Farallon and Bucaro, among others.

During this period, the SINAPROC will prepare its staff for those areas prone to flooding, and due to this event, he urged the citizens to call the emergency hotline by dialing *335, which is free for both cell phones and landlines. (TVN)

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Minister Of Security Will Travel To Washington

Safety & SecurityThe Public Security Minister, Jose Raul Mulino, will travel to Washington to participate in the symposium "The armed forces and their participation in public security tasks and development," sponsored by the Organization of American States (OAS).

The symposium will take place on May 21 and May 22, and will be attended by delegates from Colombia, Canada, Chile, Small Island Developing States, Chile and Brazil, who will address security issues from their countries.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, Mulino will address the topic: "Panama's security forces in defense tasks" where he will explain how Panama, without an army, has managed to ensure the safety of the population and fight crime, as well as international organized crime and drug trafficking. He will do so during the first day, on Tuesday, May 21.

Also, the director of the National Police, Julio Molto, will go on this trip.

Other topics to be covered are: treatment of the armed forces against the irregular forces (FARC), Sword of Honor Plan, the use of the Armed Forces in support of security in major events, strategic vision for coordinated operations between the National Police and the Military Forces in the combat against new threats."

In the absence of the minister Mulino, Manuel Moreno will be in charge. (TVN)

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Fire Leaves Six Families Without Homes

Safety & SecuritySix families were affected after a huge fire which consumed the home "9031" on Calle 9 and near Avenida Justo Arosemena in Colón.

The fire started at about 1:15 am today. Preliminary reports say the explosion was caused by a gas leak..

One person was injured when jumping out of the window on the second floor to escape the flames.

It took about 90 minutes to contain the fire. It did not spread to other buildings or houses. (Prensa)

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Firefighters From The U.S. And Spain Will Train Panama's Firefighters

Safety & SecurityFiremen from Spain and the United States will come to Panama in order to train the local firefighters on prevention and firefighting for all of the structures of the Panama Metro.

The training will take place from July 3 to July 6, when Panama hosts the First American Fire Fighters Summit, with the purpose of exchanging experiences and new technologies and equipment.

The director of the Fire Department of Panama, Paul Tuñón, reported that "they will come and give speeches [firefighters from other countries] about their experiences and new equipment used for firefighting; we will also have the First Gender Congress. This is new to us, having an influence of women within our institution."

Besides conferences and training, Tuñon said “we will have an exhibition of firefighting equipment and materials for prevention."

As for the First Gender Congress, Tuñón announced this will be developed with the support of the National Women's Institute and the intention is to strengthen the "inclusion and equality in institutions of firefighters. We've had a first approach and heard about what conditions a woman receives within our institution." (Critica)

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Firefighters Evacuate Building Of The Ministry

Safety & SecurityToday, firefighters ordered an eviction in the Ministry of Economy and Finance building on Via España due to water damage to the electrical system.

Officials said the building flooded because of a faucet left open over the weekend. It flooded the first three floors of the building, and the majority of the damage was caused on the ground floor.

The building will be closed until the damage can be repaired. (Prensa)

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Authorities Are Assessing The Metro Security System

Safety & SecurityThe subway security plan is being evaluated by the Fire Department of Panama (CBP), in order to comply with national and international guidelines on rail systems.

Francis Chen, from One-Stop Window of the CBP announced they are at the stage of final plan review and as far as they have seen, in terms of fire system and safety standards, the project features the latest in technology on the market.

The architect said a month ago the blueprints were delivered to him, and he estimates they will be over with the evaluation stage in two weeks.

Once they have completed the review they will give their observations to the construction company Consorcio Linea Uno.

Meanwhile, the Security link of the Panama Metro Secretariat (SMP), Manuel Antonio Herrera, said they will soon present the security protocols to be followed in an emergency, which they have developed together with the Subway in Barcelona project adviser and the idea is to agree on a single document with the country's security principles.

He stated the subway will have a trained staff of 3-4 per station, which will react immediately to any incident of a lesser magnitude. In case of a higher status situation, the firemen will be called for support, as well as the National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC) and the National Police (PN).

In case of a blackout it has a lighting system through the use of batteries, allowing it to operate for 90 minutes, plus they have evacuation sites in the tunnel and in the high areas. The Major Irvin Castillo from the National Police reported they have started the training process of the team in charge of handling the subway stations 24-hours. According to Herrera they estimate every station will have 8 to 10 policemen. SINAPROC has allocated 70 units to be alert to any eventuality in the construction process, while the CBP staff will reinforce the stations close to Line 1. (Panama America)

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Fire At The Credicorp Building on Calle 50 in Panama City

Safety & SecurityToday, Saturday May 4, the fire department evacuated the Credicorp Bank building located on Calle 50 because of a fire.

A spokesman form the fire department said four trucks arrived at the scene to fight the fire.

According to reports from the fire department, smoke was reported on the 7th and 8th floors, therefore they checked each floor to determine the location of the fire, and they found it originated in the eighth.

The director of the Fire Department, Pablo Tuñón said they received a call describing the emission of smoke from the building.

The firemen began to evacuate people from the 11th, 12th and 13th floors, and they dispatched more firemen to control the outbreak of fire.

The Administrative offices of "Panama Compra" are located in the building, so the firemen checked to see if there were material damages, however the service will not be affected. (Panama America)

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Experts from America and Europe will participate in Firemen Summit in Panama

Safety & SecurityExperts from ten countries from America and Europe will participate as lecturers in the Firemen American Summit, which will be held from July 3rd to July 6th in Panama, informed a source from the organizing group.

The director of the Fire Department of Panama, Paul Tuñón, said the meeting will update the participants on strategies in firefighting, effective fire safety and firefighting operations involving hazardous materials, the entity explained in a statement.

Other topics the experts will address are the evaluation of explosive atmospheres and fire prevention and rescue, he added.

Tuñón stated that the experts are coming from Spain, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, United States, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Scotland and Panama.

The summit will not only be directed to firemen and members of safety and rescue brigades, but also to engineers, architects, executives and employees of gas and fuel distribution companies, as well as those responsible of shopping centers, ports and hospitals, among others.(Telemetro)

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ATP Will Sanction Anyone Renting Apartments Short Term

Safety & SecuritySalomón Shamah, the Administrator of the Panama Tourism Authority, warned there will be sanctions with fines ranging from $ 5,000 to $ 50,000, for those who are caught illegally renting apartments as if they were hotels.

Shamah said there are people who buy properties in order to rent them per-night, without security measures and control which hotels offer, and these are mostly used by people who are involved in criminal organizations.

He said this activity also puts the residents of the buildings in danger. (Mi Diario)

Editor's Comment: Solomon Shamah is firmly in the back pockets of the hotel industry. The government of Panama passed a law stating the shortest legal term for an apartment rental is 45 days. The short term apartment rentals were competing with the hotel owners, so they lobbied (paid for) a law to be passed to curtail this activity. In addition there has been a recent expansion of the number of hotel rooms on the market in Panama City, and occupancy rates have dropped, while new hotels are opened seemingly every day. Yeah, the handful of apartment owners who were renting their apartments short term were obviously the problem. Whatever. Now the people who still want to do this have moved the billing offshore or gone underground. Let's say I rent my apartment to someone for a week. He pays me via PayPal, and he gets the keys from a friend. Am I renting it short term in violation of this law, or just "letting him use my place." It will be very hard to enforce, but I'm sure they will try to make an example out of someone.

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50 Traffic Units Guarantee A Safe Return To The Citizens

Safety & SecurityTraffic Police will implement today, Monday 29 April 2013, the operating system on the return to the capital, the inversion of the road lanes starting from midday to 6:00 pm.

The Chief of the Traffic Police, Elmer Martínez said, they will invert the left lane going towards the interior of the country and placed it toward the city, the change starts from the dairy product shop "Quesos Chela" and ends in La Espiga, Chorrera.

At approximately 10:00 am. a 50 traffic police units, six motorcycle patrols and two patrol vehicles will be in the streets placing traffic cones in case of a crash or collision for security measures.

The Chief said, at the moment, there is no exact number of how many vehicles have traveled inland, but the estimated amount is of about 52 000 vehicles. According to the chief, no significant accident has occurred.

Martínez recommended drivers to support traffic units during their return and if there are any doubts, look for an inspector and do not stop suddenly, because it can cause accidents.

He also asked the population to not drive recklessly and pass red lights and to not go over the speed limit. (Panama America)

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Fire In Bocas Del Toro Left 20 People Without Homes

Safety & SecurityThere were 20 affected people by the fire, including 13 minors, The fire occurred this morning in the village of Empalme in Bocas del Toro.

The affected people lived in four rented rooms and lost all their belongings. Thanks to the notice of one of the child who was using his computer a few minutes after midnight, was what prevented the death or injury of anybody there.

Francisco Camargo, one of the victims, said the child saw sparks of fire falling from the ceiling, making him react and tell everybody what was happening.

This morning officials from the Ministry of Housing arrived at the location. The victims were housed in the homes of friends and family, hoping for help. (Critica)

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$14 Million Towards Equipment For The Fire Department

Safety & SecurityBill 574, which would make it easier for the Fire Department of Panama to use about $14 million dollars from the National Trust Fund, was approved by the National Assemby in the second debate.

The bill, supported by the Deputies from both the opposition and government political parties, changes the Articles of Law 59 of 1996 and Law 10 of 2010. The first is the basic law regulating the Fire Department and the second defines how the money paid by insurance companies into this fund can be used.

With this fund trust, until now managed by the Fire Department, is intended to be used to acquire rolling stock, such as fire trucks and ambulances. It can also be used to fund uniforms and human resource training.

Benicio Robinson, of the PRD political party, said as a responsible party they support this project, because it will provide for the equipment and improvement of the Fire Department of Panama.

They expect an improved entity with the necessary equipment, allowing for improved performance when responding to an emergency, added Robinson.

Meanwhile, Sergio Galvez, the President of the Assembly, said the adoption of this law will give more autonomy and resources to the Fire Department, which is why they decided to hold this meeting yesterday.

He said these resources will be used to equip and strengthen the logistics of the organization across the country.

"If we decide to meet today, it is in response to the request of the fire department, because the idea is for the project to be approved in the third and final debate on Tuesday," said Galvez.

The opposition Deputy Jorge Alberto Rosas questioned the idea of calling the National Assembly into session yesterday, on Saturday, and the speed at which this project has been discussed.

For Rosas, it is not logical to discuss this project in such a hurry when there were other channels to expedite this process.

The opinion of the Firefighters

The assistant manager of the Fire Department, Rodrigo Baruco, said the amendment of this law pretends to allow and facilitate the use of the trust funds for the acquisition of equipment, ambulances, vehicles for the organization and strengthening human resources through training.

Baruco said it is essential to improve the processes and programs for the safety of people, and this is done through investing towards training their staff all across the country and acquiring new equipment.

"Our country is in development and this means the population is growing fast, there are more constructions, more buildings, so we must train ourselves even better and we must have the necessary mechanisms to deal with any emergency,” said the assistant manager.

Annually, 79 fire stations nationwide receive about 35 thousand emergency calls, of which over 40% are from the metropolitan area of the country. The officials from the institution believe this number will considerably grow in the next years, due to the accelerated growth of the population.

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Panamanian Firemen Receive Training in Pennsylvania and New Jersey (Panama Metro Safety and Security)

Safety & SecurityFiremen from the office of Operations of Extinguishing, Search and Rescue of the Distinguished Fire Brigade in the Republic of Panama are now in Philadelphia, United States, are attending training at the facilities of the Transportation Resources Associates company, relating to the Incident and Unified Command System, regarding the construction of the new Panama Metro subway system in Panama City.

As part of this training Sub Lieutenant Lester Burker and Sergeant II Cristian Toribio Vásquez have visited the Pennsylvania Transportation Corporation (PATCO) and the ladder unit of the Fire Department in Metro Station - Lindenwold.

Stand is for them to gain experience and knowledge for the successful handling of the subway system in emergency matters.

These officers have held meetings with the senior members of the Emergency Management and Intelligence System for the State of New Jersey, as well as training in the Emergency Operations Center (COE) in New Jersey, and their systems. (Critica)

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A House Burns Down In Cerro Viento

Safety & SecurityA house in Cerro Viento was almost entirely consumed by flames.

Firefighters attended the emergency which was reported for the house located on Calle 32 in Cerro Viento, village of Rufina Alfaro, district of San Miguelito.

Juan de Arco, a member of the Fire Department of Panama, said the fire spread into rooms of the house, including the dining room and kitchen. He explained the owners were attended by the 911 ambulance staff because they inhaled too much smoke, but their were no human casualties, but the family dog died.

"The Office of Safety of the firefighters will continue with investigations to determine the cause of this incident" Said Arco. (Critica)

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Fire On Calle 5ta Catedral in Casco Viejo

Safety & SecurityFiremen and officers assigned to the Institutional Protection Service (SPI) evacuated residents from Calle 5 in the area of the Catedral in Casco Viejo, after a fire was reported this morning.

Witnesses sent photos via Facebook and Twitter where you can see the flames coming out of one of the buildings.

The firemen have responded to the emergency, and apparently the situation is being controlled. (TVN)

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A Fatal Dip At Dawn - Man Drowns On Amador

Safety & SecurityA citizen of about 62 years old, died at dawn on Saturday, when he drowned in the waters of Amador.

It is unknown whether the victim had suffered a heart attack or other incident, which affected him and later caused him to drown.

It will fall to the authorities to investigate the causes of this incident, and the person who lost his life in the early hours of Saturday. (Critica)

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Two Construction Workers Die Buried In A Trench

Safety & SecurityTwo construction workers died yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, 10 April 2013, in the village of Las Mendozas in La Chorrera, when the walls of the trench where they were working collapsed and they were buried alive.

"At the time of the accident, the two men were working in a trench for the drainage system of the building project, La Estancia," reported TVN Channel 2.

The bodies of the victims were recovered by other construction workers and rescue personnel from the National Civil Protection System.

Personnel of the Public Ministry began investigations on the incident.

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Surveillance Will Be Strengthened Due To Past Fires In Cerro Patacón

Safety & SecurityYesterday two people were arrested because they were found to be in a prohibited area of the Cerro Patacón landfill, where in the past weeks, two fires have occurred, supposedly caused on purpose (arson).

Carlos Castaño, the manager of Urbalia SA, the company responsible for managing the Cerro Patacón facility, reported that the facts are being investigated, however as a first step, they will strengthen the surveillance, especially after the arrests.

Enrique Ho Fernández, the Director of the Authority of Urban Household and Cleanliness, confirmed that one of the detainees is a driver that works there; who was on vacation, the appropriate disciplinary sanctions will be applied. In addition, there was another man who was traveling in a black Ford Explorer vehicle, who apparently runs an illegal landfill facility.

The officer said the situation could be classified as a "sabotage", especially since both fires occurred in such short time. (Telemetro)

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Two People Have Been Identified As Possibly Responsible For Cerro Patacon Fires

Safety & SecurityTwo people were identified in investigations following the fires in the landfill at Cerro Patacón.

The Director of the AAUD Enrique Fernández Ho said yesterday, Monday, these people were found in a restricted area of the landfill.

One of them is a garbage truck driver who is on vacation.

The authorities will impose the appropriate disciplinary actions on this employee, according to the head of the AAUD.

The other person is an entrepreneur who has a clandestine dump in the sector of Guna Nega sector. "We don't know what they were doing there ... it is an area that is totally restricted," he said.

He added that these two people were turned over to the local Justice of the Peace (Corregidor) responsible for the area.

However, he did not rule out the possibility that the case will be turned over to a prosecutor for the facts to be more fully investigated.

Ho Fernandez said further that last Sunday was the second time in less than three weeks that someone started a fire at the Cerro Patacón garbage dump.

"I do not want to say that there are people who are doing harm on purpose, but I do not rule it out," he said.

Meanwhile, Carlos Manuel Castaño, the manager of Urbalia, SA, the company that manages the landfill, said the fire on Sunday was "caused" (arson).

Therefore, they will consider appropriate measures to strengthen surveillance, he added. (Prensa)

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100 Gallons Of Foam Used To Put Out Second Fire In Cerro Patacón

Safety & SecurityThere are strong suspicions that the second fire at the recycling section of Cerro Patacón landfill, was caused by someone, according to what several authorities have declared.

The incident began in the early morning hours of Sunday and was suppressed in the afternoon.

Roberto Henríquez, Minister of the Presidency, published on his twitter account that he and the authorities had strong suspicions that the incident was caused by a criminal hand, a situation that will be investigated. "It is strongly suspected that the fire in the tire disposal section in Cerro Patacón was intentional. Flames are already under control but there's still a lot of smoke," was the message posted by Henríquez.

According to early reports, the incident could also be caused by some scavengers, who are dedicated to the collection of cables.

To quell this fire, 100 gallons of foam were used, which was bought from the Texas Fire Department in the United States, to extinguish the first fire in Cerro Patacón. There is a distance of one kilometer between the areas where the fires were. (Telemetro)

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Firefighters And The AAUD Try To Put Out Another Fire In Cerro Patacón

Safety & SecurityAfter more than nine hours of there being an active fire in the area of tire disposal in the Cerro Patacón landfill, members of the Fire Department of Panama still try to suffocate it, is what the Authority Urban and Household (AAUD) reported.

The incident occurred at around 1:00 am, this is the second case that has occurred in the area of the landfill in less than a month.

The firefighters continue to work to extinguish the fire, since it also spread to other areas adjacent to the landfill.

According to residents from the sector, they noticed a large amount of smoke and huge flames coming from the area in the morning.

Personnel of the Fire Department of Panama and AAUD coordinate in the area to quell this incident.

On March 19th a fire started in the second stage of Cerro Patacón, which took over two weeks to control and required the advice of experts from the U.S. and Canada.

To smother the fire, they used the special foam, which arrived in the country from Texas, USA. (Prensa)

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Warehouse On Fire In Zona Libre

Safety & SecurityDuring the early hours this morning, Thursday, April 4th, there was a fire in a warehouse in the Colón Zona Libre, in the area of ​​Coco Solito.

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MIVIOT Will Subsidize Families Affected By Fire In Colón For 10 Months

Safety & SecurityThe Deputy Minister of Housing, Rogelio Javier Baruco and his team walked through the two mansions in 12172 and 12181, located on Calle 13 Amador Guerrero and Herrera, which were burned on Sunday March 31st in the province of Colón.

This incident left a toll of 64 affected families, which were attended by social workers of the institution until the late hours of the night.

Baruco said "this government does not forget Colón and that is why in this province there are several housing projects built, such as: Irving Saladino, Nueva Providencia, Praderas de Buena Vista.

He said what comes now, is to make social-economic evaluation of the families, to determine the status of each one and thus direct them to that program the institution may apply, so they can get a home in their own future in a stable and secure way.

At the moment, these families will be subsidized for 10 months, so they can live in a place temporarily while they look for a permanent solution and that way, they can be applied to programs implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Land Management (Miviot).

In both entities as the Government and the Mayor of Colón rely on food, while the Zona Libre of Colón is responsible for the needs of infants.

On the other hand in the province of Panama, the deputy director of Social Development, Asdrubal Ulloa and a team of social workers, met with six families who were affected by the fire on Saturday March 30th, at Calle Segunda Parque Lefevre, where the evaluation was performed and found to be subsidized for three months until they find a solution. (ESTRELLA)

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64 Families Left Homeless By Fire In Colon

Safety & SecurityAbout 64 families were left homeless by a fire that occurred at 6:00 pm Sunday, March 31st at Calle 13 and Avenida Manuel Amador Guerrero in the city of Colón.

Firefighters fought the chaos, yet they weren't able to do much because the whole building was in flames.

According to reports, the two-story building was condemned, but was inhabited by 64 families, some of Guna origin.

Some people spent the night in the place watching what little they could salvage, while the others slept in the home of their relatives.

According to TVN, an official from Zona Libre, allegedly offered to each of the owners of the affected apartments the sum of $1,300, money that the victims refused to receive.

Meanwhile, Telemetro reported that about 250 people consisted in the total of those 64 families.

They also reported that two people jumped from the first floor to save their belongings and firefighters were faced with low water pressure.

Today they expect to know the details of how this fire started leaving several families homeless. (Mi Diario)

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Victims Of The Fire In Colón Ask For Help

Safety & SecurityMore than 60 families were affected by the fire in an old house located on Calle 13 and Avenida Amador Guerrero, in Colón which happened yesterday, they spent the night outdoors and they hope that the Ministry of Housing and Land Management (Miviot) will help.

The Office of Security of the Fire Department will investigate what happened to determine what caused the fire, in which fortunately there were no injuries.

The authorities from the office of the Mayor of Colón will offer food to the victims for today, while the Panamanian Red Cross is receiving donations of dry food, water and clothing. (Dia A Dia)

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Ho Hopes To Meet With Residents Of Guna Nega To Discuss Cerro Patacón Landfill

Safety & SecurityThe administrator of the Authority of Urban and Household Cleanliness (AAUD), Enrique Ho, said possibly tomorrow he will meet with residents of the community of Guna Nega, and he will talk with them about the creation of stage three of the Cerro Patacón landfill.

Ho said he is waiting for the residents of this area who oppose the construction of this stage (because it's too close their homes), to create a committee to start dialog.

He said the company Urbalia S.A. will have to be responsible for a payment of $700,000 because the state had to purchase the special foam used to put out the fire. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: The total cost of putting out the fire might have been $700,000 but they only paid about $200,000 for the foam. Or, if they did pay $700,000 for the foam they got ripped off...

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"Twenty Areas of Cerro Patacón Still On Fire" - Zenón Návalo

Safety & SecurityAlthough the fire was controlled in the Cerro Patacón's garbage dump, there are still 20 areas which remain burning, said the general secretary of the Authority of Urban and Household Cleanliness (AAUD), Zenón Návalo.

Zenón said the company Urbalia S.A. is putting out these fires with support from the Fire Department of Panama and the supervision of the AAUD.

He said there's reason to believe the fire was arson, but the authorities are still investigating.

Responsibilities of the Company

Návalo told Noticias AM that Urbalia S.A. is responsible for the administration of Cerro Patacón and the AAUD is only supervising, so therefore they are going to review the contract, to determine if the company failed to comply with their responsibilities.

Other thing that the company has to do is install a medical waste incinerator. The construction of Stage 3 in Cerro Patacón is being held back at the moment because the people living near the site are opposed. (Panama America)

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Minsa Declares "Green Alert" For Easter

Safety & SecurityOn the occasion of the celebration of Holy Week, the Ministry of Health continue with the "green alert forecast" from 12 noon today, Wednesday, March 27th until 11:00 pm on Sunday, March 31st.

1, 994 food protection officials, water quality, health promotion, public health and vector control, ensure the cleanliness that the institution implement these five days, supported by 56 ambulances and 11 aquatic ambulances and activation of the "health 0" system, from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm, for the emergency evacuation of patients from inaccessible areas.

The national chief of SISED, Rogelio Muñoz said to address any health emergency during the Holy Week, they have conditioned 73 health facilities: 20 hospitals, 2 Policentros, 37 health centers, 7 sub-health, 4 health stands and 3 checkpoints and surveillance.

A press release from the company, said that health inspectors conducted operations in the food stalls and seafood, wholesale and retail, to verify its quality.

The director of the Metropolitan Health Region, Jorge Hassan, said that on the island of Taboga there will be a 24 hour care center, in Veracruz they will provide service from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm, and the Health Sub-Centre in Kuna Nega will be open until Sunday, March 31 from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm also.

For his part, Director of Health of San Miguelito, Algis Torres said the Health Center of San Isidro remain open 24 hours, the Health Center Torrijos Carter from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm and it will be available all days even if ambulance transport is required to transport patients in critical condition to St. Thomas Hospital del Niño or San Miguel Arcángel. (Panama America)

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