Algeria - Earthquake OCHA Situation Report No. 4
OCHA Situation Report No. 4
Algeria - Earthquake
23 May, 2003
Local Authorities and the UNDAC Team in Bourmedes have informed OCHA Geneva that there is no further requirement for additional international search and rescue teams to deploy
1. 1,467 persons have been reported dead, some 7,000 injured, while hundreds more are reportedly trapped under collapsed buildings or remain unaccounted for.
2. Electricity was partly disrupted in Boumerdes, (close to Algiers,) where most of the search and rescue (SAR) efforts are concentrated. The water supply and distribution system, particularly in Boumerdes, has been badly damaged. The Hospital in Phenia, which is 8km from Boumerdes, has also been damaged and can presently provide first aid and triage only.
3. The situation at the airport is currently described by the UNDAC Reception Centre Team as calm, with trucks available on standby to transport incoming SAR Teams to the site. Initial bottlenecks, seen earlier in the day, appear to be easing. However, further relief flights are due overnight.
4. The Government of Algeria has presented OCHA, through its Permanent Mission in Geneva, a non-quantified list of relief items. The attached list at Annex 1 (in French) outlines these priority requirements. The list will be provided in English on 24 May.
III. National Response
5. The Civil Protection authorities and the UNDAC Team have set up a reception cell at the airport. The Government of Algeria has also established two additional operations centres; one located in Boumerdes and the other in the General Directorate of Civil Protection. In addition, three co-ordination centres have been established in the Prime Minister's Office, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the Office of the Governor of Algiers. Further operational details of national response will be provided as these are confirmed.
IV. International Response
(a) United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) Deployment
6. Three UNDAC team members are currently based at the reception centre in Algiers airport, providing support to local authorities in the co-ordination of international SAR teams. Key challenges currently being addressed with local authorities include the rapid processing of customs and immigration procedures, and provision of onward transport of SAR teams to the affected areas.
7. Five UNDAC team members and two support team staff, provided by the Governments of Sweden and Norway have proceeded to Boumerdes and have established an On-Site Operations Coordination Centre (OSOCC). The OSOCC is supported by two liaison officers from the Swiss SAR team. The Centre is located in close proximity to the Liaison Office of the Algerian Civil Protection Co-ordination Centre. A co-ordination meeting was held at noon today, which included a briefing from the local emergency management authority (LEMA). Main points from that meeting were:
- UNDAC's coordination support role appears to have been well accepted by SAR Teams and LEMA;
- SAR Teams have committed to provide liaison officers to the OSOCC, thus ensuring comprehensive contact and coordination between LEMA, the OSOCC and teams;
- SAR Teams have been encouraged to use the recognised International Search and Rescue Advisory Group markings system once collapsed structures have been searched, with the aim of minimising repeat searching and duplication of effort;
- The Algerian Civil Protection Directorate is leading the allocation of working areas for the SAR Teams;
- Priority needs appear to be water and sanitation, based on reports that the systems have been partially destroyed by the earthquake;
- Concerns were raised that the affected population remains in very close proximity to SAR sites.
The next OSOCC Coordination meeting will be held at 2000 hours today local time.
8. The UN Resident Coordinator a.i. (UNIDO Representative, Alessandro Parlatore) is providing excellent support to the UNDAC team, particularly in the transport, logistics and local facilitation of the onward deployment of SARS teams.
9. Mr. Vladimir Sakharov, Chief of the joint OCHA/UNEP Environmental Emergencies Section, arrived mid-afternoon today to provide senior-level support to the Resident Coordinator and UN Country Team in Algiers.
(b) Search and Rescue (SAR) Teams, Assessment Teams and International Assistance
10. Updated information on arrival of and contact details for SAR Teams in Algeria is provided on the virtual OSOCC which can be accessed via www.reliefweb.int/virtualosocc
11. The UNDAC team has met with representatives of the IFRC Field Assessment and Coordination (FACT) team. FACT is based in Algiers and is currently coordinating relief assessments with the Algerian Red Crescent Society (ARCS). Close co-ordination with other providers of relief is planned through the OSOCC. FACT has provided contact details of two liaison persons for the OSOCC. Contact details for the FACT Team can be found at the Virtual OSOCC.
12. The Government of Japan has dispatched the Japan Disaster Relief SAR team comprising 50 persons and two dogs.
13. Denmark, through its Embassy in Algiers, has donated EUR 40,000 to the Algerian authorities for earthquake relief operations. The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Danish Emergency Management Agency are waiting for more detailed information on priority needs in order to determine possible further assistance.
14. France has dispatched six flights including a team of civil defence experts (10 persons and 10 dogs), a field hospital with 25 specialists and two telecommunications specialists. Additionally a delegation from Eaux de Marseille, consisting of 8 people and 20 MTs of materials (including 5 trucks of water and purification equipment) has arrived in Algeria.
15. Spain has dispatched search and rescue specialists as well as emergency equipment.
16. The United States, through its Permanent Mission to International Organisations in Geneva, is establishing an Embassy commitment of US $ 50,000 to help meet the immediate relief needs of those affected by the earthquake in Algeria. This assistance will be used by the Algerian Red Crescent Society under mutually agreed conditions.
17. Poland, through the State Fire Service, is ready to dispatch from today to the affected area two search and rescue teams including two doctors (total 27 of personnel), 6 sniffing dogs, search and technical equipment. In addition medical kits with antibiotics, analgesic and bandages (approximately 200 kg) will also be sent.
18. The Belgian Red Cross is airlifting airlift emergency health kits to Algiers today. MSF Belgium is in the process of dispatching a three-person team to provide assistance.
19. The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) is launching an initial assessment of the humanitarian needs in consultation with the European Commission delegation in Algiers and partner relief organisations. An ECHO expert will travel to Algeria today.
20. The Civil Protection Unit of the European Commission has informed OCHA Geneva that four planes are due to arrive today containing relief items (Austria, Poland, Malta and Cyprus). Details to be confirmed.
21. Norway has granted USD50,000 to OCHA for the Algerian Crisis.
22. An expert from the World Health Organization (WHO) will join the UNDAC Team on the ground on 24 May.
23. China's international search and rescue team, with 30 members and specially trained dogs, will arrive in Algeria later today.
24. The Russian Federation's EMERCOM SAR team has arrived (70 persons).
25. Portugal's SAR Team has arrived, comprising 31 people (including one doctor, 2 nurses, 6 dogs and 7 MTs of materials (part relief materials, part SAR equipment).
26. A SAR Team from Luxembourg of 6 experts and 4 dogs has arrived in-country.
27. Medecins du Monde (Greece) assessment staff have arrived on-site.
28. Further arrivals are anticipated this evening and during the night: Austria (34 person SAR Team), Iceland (17 SAR personnel), Italy (9 person SAR Team and dogs), Red Cross (One plane of relief items - details to follow), South Africa (24 personnel, 4 dogs and medical supplies), Belgium (2 C130s containing tents, water purification equipment and vehicles).
V. UNDAC Team Plan of Action:
- Strengthening the OSOCC with additional
UNDAC members and SAR liaison persons;
- Carrying out rapid assessments of affected
areas, and identification of emergency needs, in co-ordination with LEMA,
USAR teams and international humanitarian actors (on-going);
- Support and facilitation of sectoral co-ordination based on emerging needs, including identification of key humanitarian actors (on-going).
30. OCHA is prepared to serve as channel for cash contributions to be used for immediate relief assistance, in coordination/consultation with relevant organisations in the United Nations system. Below are the banking details.
Bank Name: JP Morgan Chase Bank
International Agencies Banking
1166 Ave. of the Americas
New York, N.Y. 10036-2708, USA
U.N. Geneva General Fund
Account Number: 485-001802
Bank Code: ABA 021 000 021
Swift Code: CHASUS 33
Reference: OCHA - Algeria - Earthquake
31. The contributions table for this disaster (fax recipients, see attachment) contains data reported to OCHA Geneva by donors on the date of issue of this report. Any future updates on contributions to this disaster may be found by clicking on Financial Tracking at the top of the page for this disaster on the OCHA Internet Website (http://www.reliefweb.int). Donors are requested to verify this table and inform OCHA Geneva of corrections/additions/values. Donors are encouraged to notify OCHA Geneva of their contributions to this disaster using the OCHA Standardized Contributions Recording Format, available electronically in the above mentioned Financial Tracking Website
32. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int. Please post any further information you may have on the Virtual OSOCC (www.reliefweb.int/virtualosocc) to keep all interested parties informed.
Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10
Mr. Marcel Mikala
Direct Tel. +41-22-917-1457/917-1729
(GVA) - Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(N.Y.) - Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-212-963 87 40
1. Priority Needs as Identified by the Government of Algeria and provided to the UNDAC Team in Algiers
- Brises Beton
- Tronconneuses Electriques
- Cisailles PM/GM
- Materiels de Desincarceration
- Marteaux piqueurs
- Etais et etresillons
- Coussins de levage
- Stations de potabilisation d'eau
- Materiels de traction et de levage
- Kits de medicaments
- Mallettes urgence
- Produits de purification et de desinfection d'eau
- Comprimes de chloramine
- Civieres refrigerantes
- Baches de protection
- Lits de camps
- Groupes electrogenes
- Girafes eclairages
- Moto pompes tractables
- Modules d'epuration d'eau
- Kits reservoire de un metre trente a trente metres cube
- Camions hydro-cureuses
- Camions pour nettoyage canalisation
- Antibiotiques et antiseptiques
- Medicaments de la douleur et anitinflamatoires non
- Produits de pansement et sutures
- Dispositifs medicaux et accessoires
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.