(Eastday) Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli declared a national emergency on Thursday after heavy rains and flooding killed 10 people and displaced over 1,500.
“We will help all of the towns that have had problems,” said Martinelli, adding that 962 homes were damaged and 4,000 were affected in three hardest-hit eastern provinces.
He said the dam of Bayano power plant almost burst when the water level reached its maximum capacity of 63 meters. The power plant generates 10 percent of the country’s electricity.
“We almost lost the dam. Fortunately, the water level has gone down,” said the president before a tour of the area affected by the flooding.
He also said AES Panama, which administrates the Bayano dam, must be held accountable for the damage suffered by thousands of people living near the Bayano river.
The National System of Civil Protection, ministries and security organizations of this country will deliver humanitarian aid, including water, food, mattresses, clothing and medicines, to the disaster area.