North India is currently experiencing its coldest weather in decades, with Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana among those worst affected. Night temperatures have been regularly falling below 3 degrees Celsius in the capital, four to five degrees lower than the normal seasonal average. In the first week of January 2013, Delhi recorded a temperature of 1.9 degrees, the lowest in 44 years. People without shelter are the most vulnerable. Around 78 million homeless people are ill equipped to face the cold weather conditions. (IFRC, 11 Jan 2013)
As of 9 Jan, the death toll from the cold wave stands at 200 (Times of India, 9 Jan 2013).
- Executive Summary
Flash floods triggered by cloudburst in Uttarakhand caused widespread devastation in mid-June this year. This has tested the First Medical Responders (FMR) concept which was piloted in Uttarakhand in the last two years. The FMRs have contributed significantly in the response operation, and has raised expectations in other 14 states where the FMR programme has been launched in 2013.
Period covered by this update: 10 January to 10 April 2013
Summary: CHF 57,100 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 10 January to support the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) in delivering immediate assistance to approximately 10,000 beneficiaries.
Since the last week of December 2012, temperatures in northern India fell, causing many homeless people in the region, particularly in urban areas, to be affected.
Bangladesh - Tropical Storm Mahasen struck southern districts on 16 May. The Joint Needs assessment (JNA) identified unment needs in shelter, WASH and livelihoods in Patuakali, Bhola and Barguna. The govt and humanitarian partners have started responding and further assessments are being conducted. Source: PDC, OCHA
Due to heavy snowfall in the eastern part of Leh district Livestock like sheep/goat, yak, cow, mules and ponies started dying from sheer starvation and hypothermia. The only vegetation grows in the region is shrubs and bushes (no trees and fodders) and pasture land is covered under a thick blanket of snowfall which won’t melt due to cold. The region is also known for endangered species like wild ass and birds. Changthang region is poorer than the rest and only very few of these people are employed in Jobs.
The high altitude plains of Changthang, Eastern Ladakh, are home to a nomadic tribe called the Changpas. For generations, they have lived in harmony with the land. Their intricate multi- dimensional pastoral system is centered around livestock. The Changpas rear yaks, horses and sheep, in addition to their famous changra ‘pashmina’ goats. The region produces around 40,000 kgs of pashmina every year. It also supplies butter, meat and wool for the Ladakh region.
The invisible disaster of 2012-13
Period covered by this update: 10 January to 6 March 2013
Summary: CHF 57,100 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 10 January to support the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) in delivering immediate assistance to approximately 10,000 beneficiaries. Unearmarked funds to replenish this DREF allocation are encouraged.
This operation is to be implemented over a period of three months and will therefore be completed by 10 April 2013; a final report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by 10 July 2013).
By Suresh Sharma, TNN | Feb 7, 2013, 02.35 AM IST
MANALI: With no working communication channels, hundreds of villages in Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti districts have lost link with the outside world after heavy snowfall in the last three days. Shoulder-high snow has wreaked havoc in Lahaul-Spiti valley while two to four feet of snow in Manali and upper reaches of Kullu has thrown life out of gear in the district.
TNN | Feb 7, 2013, 02.40 AM IST
SHIMLA: Seven residents of Kafnu village of Kinnaur district defeated death by surviving an avalanche that buried them under 100 feet of snow for around eight hours. According to sources, the villagers managed to survive as they quickly shifted to lower portion of the house when the avalanche struck the place, and when it collapsed the wooden structure provided them enough room inside the snow to breathe.
02/06/2013 09:44 GMT
Shimla, India, Feb 6, 2013 (AFP) - An avalanche in a Himalayan region of northern India killed at least five villagers Wednesday when their houses were buried under heavy snow, officials said.
The avalanche trapped eight people in the remote Kafnu village in the state of Himachal Pradesh but three of them were later rescued, they said.
"The victims were in two houses. The other six houses in the village had been vacated earlier," said one of the officials, speaking anonymously as he was not authorised to talk to the press.
Philippines - TC Bopha (Pablo) struck the southern Philippines in early December. The risk of floods and landslides due to heavy rains persists in typhoon-affected areas hampering humanitarian activities. The revised Action Plan was launched in Manila on 25 January asking for US$76 million. A low pressure area continues to affect areas in Mindanao causing flash floods and a landslide affecting nearly 40,000 people.
TNN | Jan 24, 2013, 04.46 AM IST
SHIMLA: After a spell of heavy snowfall, it has become a herculean task for the Himachal Pradesh government to ensure power supply and open blocked roads to facilitate stranded people. It is being demanded that the government should declare the heavy snowfall as natural calamity so as to invoke disaster management plans and press Army into service to start relief and rescue operations.
SHIMLA: The heavy snow that pounded much of the north-western Himalayan belt on Thursday and Friday disrupted normal life and brought traffic to a standstill, uprooting big trees and electric poles, snapping power lines, freezing piped water lines and damaging several houses and cars.
In Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur and Chamba districts, it triggered avalanches at many places and cut off many villages.
January 18, 2013
OTTAWA ― The Canadian International Development Agency, working with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, is distributing 10,000 blankets destined for families suffering from extreme cold weather in India.
"Canada is working quickly to help those in northern India ― especially the most vulnerable ― who are currently experiencing the coldest weather in decades," said the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation.
Exceptionally cold conditions have swept across northern India over the last three weeks, taking the lives of hundreds of people, and causing suffering to thousands more. The cold wave is one of the most severe to hit India in decades, with Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana among those worst affected. Night temperatures regularly fell below 3 degrees Celsius in the capital, 4-5 degrees lower than the normal seasonal average. During the second week of the cold wave, Delhi recorded temperatures of 1.9 degrees, the lowest seen in 44 years.
- Philippines - TC Bopha (Pablo) struck the southern Philippines in early December. Concerns for acute respiratory infections in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental provinces have declined since mid-December. The risk of floods and landslides due to heavy rains persists in typhoon-affected areas hampering humanitarian activities. The revised Action Plan will be launched in Manila on 25 January. More recently a low pressure area affected areas in Mindanao causing flash floods and a landslide affecting nearly 5,000 people.
CHF 57,100 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 10 January to support the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) in delivering immediate assistance to approximately 10,000 beneficiaries. Unearmarked funds to replenish this DREF allocation are encouraged.
By Farrukh Nadim, TNN | Jan 10, 2013, 03.46 AM IST
BIHARSHARIF: Setting an example for others to follow, the police personnel of Nalanda district on Wednesday distributed blankets among the poor and homeless people of the district. They had purchased the blankets from their salary to help the poor fight the cold wave.
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has organised a substantial blanket distribution drive to help underprivileged children survive the harsh winter season in New Delhi.
This initiative, which is the first conducted by the airline in India, was organised in association with Monyati Initiatives, an India-based non-profit social development organisation, along with Ammucare Charitable Trust.
By Stephen Ryan in New Delhi