Site Meter
Send Us An Email
Panama Guide

Welcome to Panama Guide
Tuesday, September 02 2014 @ 10:10 PM EDT

View Printable Version

SINAPROC Issues Alert For Rains - Coinciding With High Tides

WeatherThe National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC) issued an alert this morning, Monday, 2 June 2014 - due to light to moderate rains that will coincide with high tides. (more)

You've just hit a "pay wall." Panama-Guide subscribers who have logged in to their user accounts can see the full text of this article. However non-members can only see this short introduction. If you would like to subscribe, please click this link to subscribe via PayPal.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Heavy Rains Cause Problems Around The Country

WeatherThe heavy rain on Thursday afternoon caused certain affectations in the capital city and other parts of the country according to reports from the National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC).

At the entrance to Howard in Arraijána a small privately owned bus that was headed towards the capital ended up in a ditch, and five people received minor injuries.

Firefighters from Howard arrived at the scene of the accident to help the injured.

Minutes later a tree fell on a house on Calle 2 in San Isidro in the district of San Miguelito, causing damage.

SINAPROC members responded to the scene to remove the tree and evacuate the house.

Elsewhere, there was an accident on the Panama-Colon highway, and one of the passengers was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

SINAPROC recommends everyone to be careful these days when there is heavy rains, and they ask all to drive carefully. (Telemetro)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Cattle Dying Of Thirst In Los Santos

WeatherRanchers in the province of Los Santos have been reporting cattle are dying due to the dry season and the lack of water in this region.

El Cedro and El Corozal, in the district of Macaracas, are the areas most affected.

Yesterday, on a tour of the area we were able to see a large number of dry springs, creeks, and watering holes, worrying the ranchers of the region, because if this situation continues into May and June it will become more critical.

Already there have been reports of cattle dying from thirst.

Manuel Gutiérrez, a rancher in El Corozal, said there is no water for either animals or people. It is expected that the coming months will be very difficult.

"The cows are falling, I had to put an IV in one a El Corozal Abajo," he said.

According to the rancher, there are more than 500 head without water, because everything is dry.

The veterinarian Jorge Castro said there have been many reports of cattle busting through fences in search of better grass.

Alexis Bravo, the regional director of the MIDA in Los Santos, said they are building dams. (Siglo)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

ASEP Handing Out Fines To Those Who Refuse To Comply With Energy Saving Measures

WeatherFernando Vargas, a representative of the National Authority of Public Services (ASEP), said the organization is continuing with an operation designed to verify compliance with energy saving measures ordered by the central government, especially with regard to the schedule for turning off electric signs, billboards, and air conditioners.

Vasquez said yesterday during an inspection they discovered several businesses that were not complying with the energy saving measures, and they have been summoned to appear before the institution.

The ASEP official said they will be warned for the first offense, but if any repeat offenders are found they could face fines ranging from $50 to $5,000.

He said the dry season is affecting water levels at the reservoirs of the hydroelectric generation plants, and also demand for electricity has been high.

He said the new measures will be strictly enforced for all government offices, autonomous institutions, semi-autonomous institutions, the offices of the judicial and legislative branches, as well as the private sector and all facilities dedicated to commercial and industrial activities.

1. Turn off all air conditioners between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm, if the National Dispatch Center has decreed a "Rationing Alert".

2. Air conditioners should not be set below 24 ° C - when they are allowed to be in use.

3. A condition of "self sufficiency" has been declared throughout the national territory, for every possible hour, and as a requirement during the peak hours between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.

4. Neon signs, decorative lights in buildings, parking lots, and monuments can only be used from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

5. Decrease lighting in areas that are infrequently used, and ensure that all unnecessary power consuming equipment is turned off at the end of the work day.

The only exceptions to this order are schools, healthcare facilities, and the Panama Metro, due to the nature of the service they provide.

Also, those merchants who choose to support themselves by generating their own electrical power using their generators (are exempt as well). (Critica)

Editor's Comment: So, heads up. The government is going to start handing out fines to those who refuse to comply with this order. There was one key phrase in this article - in the fourth paragraph - "...and also demand for electricity has been high." This means the energy shortage we're experiencing now has not been caused by a shortage of rainfall, because normally the rainy season starts around min-April in a normal year anyway. This year demand has been much higher than in previous years, due to the continued expansion of the Panamanian economy. The nation's ability to produce electrical energy has not kept pace.

"Raisa Banfield - what say thee?" Would someone please ask her that question. Should we stop building new hydro-electric plants now, if it causes the growth of the Panamanian economy to stop? Is she still in favor of stopping all construction of new hydro electric plants? (Idiot...)

These knee-jerk environmentalists drive me nuts. In Panama the hydro plants do great during the rainy season, and they also have enough of a cushion to carry much of the load (37% today) during the dry season. "Thermal" plants that burn bunker fuel to generate power, together with wind and solar, provide the rest. In recent years Panama has been expanding the use of wind and solar plants which work better during the dry season, making them a perfect sustainable or renewable compliment to the hydro plants. But right now the wind and solar plants are akin to a little tiny electric car, compared to the load a big-rig, 18 wheeler, massive hydro electric plant can carry.

So when the lights go out, someone please go find an environmentalist, and hand them a warm glass of sour milk to drink...

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Panama's Government Announces Mandatory Power Conservation Measures

WeatherBy Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com - This afternoon the government of Panama issued an order announcing mandatory energy saving measures.

These measures will be applied throughout the country in response to the long dry season, and decreasing water levels at the nation's hydro electric reservoirs.

These newly announced measures will take effect tomorrow, 10 April 2014.

They apply to all government offices, autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies, judicial offices, legislative institutions, as well as the private sector and all commercial and industrial activities.

1. Air conditioners must be turned off from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm - while an Rationing Alert Condition Alert has been declared by the National Dispatch Center (CND).

2. Set air conditioners to no less than 24 ° C , during the time frame when their use is allowed.

3. The government has declared "self sufficiency" throughout the national territory, for every possible hour, and especially during the peak hours between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. (This means they want you to use a generator if you have one, to power your business whenever possible.)

4. Neon signs, decorative night lights in buildings, parking lots, and monuments can only be used from 6:00 pm until 10:00 pm.

5. Reduce lighting in areas of little use, or areas that are used infrequently, and make sure that all power consuming equipment is turned off at the end of the work day.

Exceptions to that ordered by the government include schools, healthcare facilities, and the Panama Metro, due to the nature of their service.

Also, those businesses who choose to support themselves by generating their own power are exempt from these restrictions.

Editor's Comment: So obviously, make every effort to conserve as much electricity as possible.

Copyright 2014 Panama-Guide.com.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Water Levels Falling To Critical Levels Behind Panama's Hydroelectric Generation Dams

WeatherYesterday the Fortuna hydroelectric dam was only 9.5 meters above the minimum water level necessary to operate, putting additional pressure on the country's generation network.

A similar situation is occurring at the Bayano reservoir, which reported 4.5 meters above the minimum operating level.

Despite the low water level of both reservoirs, these two hydroelectric generation plants are using the water they have right now rather than trying to save it to use later.

Although the government has ordered energy conservation measures, the energy demand has remained at 1,400 megawatts.

Some businessmen say the government should announce an energy crisis. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: Panama's economy continues to grow, and every new apartment building, mall, and office increases the demand for electrical energy. The government has done a good job of enticing new investment in energy generation infrastructure. Despite ongoing efforts by some environmentalists to impede the development of these projects, on the whole generation capacity has been able to keep pace with the growth in demand - just barely. When the rains come late then the water levels behind the dams drop, and there's simply not enough electrical energy to go around. Quick, someone ask Raisa Banfield about the environment and conservation, after the rationing kicks in. Still want to stop that new hydro project?

In Panama Solar and Wind do well in the dry season, while hydro does well in the rainy season. The government is working to build a mix, and that's smart.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

Tunnel In Rio Hato Flooded After Heavy Rain In The Area

WeatherThe tunnel on the Pan-American Highway, by Río Hato in Antón, Coclé, was affected after the heavy showers on Sunday, when a large amount of water flooded the inside of the structure.

Several drivers reported both lanes of the Pan-American Highway were completely flooded. Units from the Transit Authority (ATTT) arrived at the place to assist with the traffic flow.

This tunnel is completely new, because it was part of the adjustments necessary after the construction of the International Airport Scarlett Martínez in Río Hato. (Telemetro)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

MOP Executing A Plan To Prevent Flooding

WeatherThe Ministry of Public Works (MOP) said Tuesday, in order to support the families that were affected by recent flooding in the area of ​​Puente del Rey, Panama Viejo, in the district of Parque Lefevre, they have started a plan of action with the goal of minimizing the likelihood of flooding in this area.

In this context, it is important to point out that with the construction of the new route through Via Cincuentenario, a system of stormwater drainage was constructed, which has substantially reduced the risk of flooding in the area, although there are still some critical points very close to the banks of Rio Abajo.

Right now, the MOP is using machinery and equipment to clean and dredge the large amount of sediment and debris that has collected in the channel of Rio Abajo.

Dredging Rio Abajo in Panama City to prevent localized flooding.

The head of Public Works, Jaime Ford, has repeated his call for people to become aware, asking them to not fill the tributaries and drainage system with all sorts of waste and garbage, which increases the risk of flooding in the communities.

This work of cleaning out the channel will take approximately four days. As part of the relocation of the Via Cincuentenario, the MOP is building a retaining wall to stabilize the river bank in order to make the site more secure.

It is anticipated that construction of the protection wall will take about six weeks, and the institution is performing the studies and designs, which will be included in the ongoing MOP project which they call "Heritage Preservation." (Estrella)

Editor's Comment: October, November, and early December are typically the months which see the most rainfall in Panama. Historically speaking this is the time of year when you can expect to see heavy and concentrated rainfall with the capacity to overwhelm any stormwater drainage system. Expect localized flooding, and be alert for mudslides as well. You also might want to stock up on bottled drinking water. In recent years mudslides into Lake Alajeula have increased turbidity levels in the raw source water beyond the capacity of the Chilibre water treatment plant to remove. The end result was turbidity coming out of the water taps for weeks in Panama City. Get yourself a couple of those 5 gallon water bottles and use that for drinking, when necessary. It's simply better to be prepared than to have to scramble at the last minute. And when in doubt, drink more beer. That's my professional opinion...

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

59 Houses Were Affected By The Rain

Weather59 houses were affected due to the constant rains in Panama and San Miguelito, according to the general director of the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc), Arturo Alvarado. This situation caused material loss to 333 people.

An official report states these floods were in Parque Lefevre (25), Panama Viejo (20), San Francisco (4), Chilibre (2) and Rio Abajo (1). Other houses were affected by landslides and related incidents in Samaria, El Valle de Urraca, La Cabima, Alcalde Diaz and Villa Campestre.

The chief of the Sinaproc said “we are in the rainiest season of the country.” In fact, the management of Hydrometeorology of ETESA said they are expecting rains for the next couple of hours.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Facing this situation, Alvarado recommended the citizens not to throw garbage on the streets. He also asked students to remain in their classrooms when it rains. And, if you are at home, your office or a shopping mall, people should not go out to the street until the situation gets better, said the official. (Prensa)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
View Printable Version

SINAPROC Warns About Showers And Thunderstorms

WeatherThe director of the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc), Arturo Alvarado, published on Twitter satellite images showing showers from Panama East up to the city, together with thunderstorms.

He also reported gusts of wind in certain areas, so he recommended the citizens not to exercise in the open air.

At the moment, the Hydrometerological Department of ETESA reports reduced air pressure in Colon, causing moisture displacement over the Caribbean of Panama and generating scattered showers with electrical activity.

Weather reports from ETESA show the presence of scattered showers in the Caribbean in Changuinola and Bocas del Toro, as well as Colon and Guna Yala.

In the Pacific, in the provinces of Darien, Panama, Colon and Cocle, scattered showers are also expected, as well as over Veraguas and the highlands of Chiriqui. (Panama America)

Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks