China: Floods Emergency Appeal No. MDRCN001 Operations Update No. 1

The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 185 countries.

In Brief

Operations Update no.01; Period covered: 2 August 2006 to 14 August 2006; Appeal target: CHF 5,950,200 (USD 4,825791 OR EUR 3,782,708);

Appeal coverage: 5.3%; Outstanding needs: CHF 5,632,800 (USD 4,562,671 or EUR 3,565,238)

Appeal history:

- Launched 2 August 2006 for CHF 5,950,200 (USD 4,825791 OR EUR 3,782,708)

- Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated: CHF 213,000

Operational Summary: The flood and storm situation in China remains turbulent with two substantial Typhoons Prapiroon and Saomai having struck China since the launch of this appeal on 2 August. This Operations Update summarises the impact of the latest typhoons to strike China and describes briefly the early steps to be taken to implement the RCSC/Federation Appeal. While some funding has been confirmed and other discussions are ongoing, confirmed funding is urgently required to move forward with planned relief and recovery activities.

Background

The storm situation in China remains turbulent with two substantial typhoons; Prapiroon and Saomai striking China after the launch of the Federation's Appeal on 2 August. On 3 August, tropical storm Prapiroon forced the evacuation of 844,000 people in southern China's Guangdong and Hainan provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Prapiroon's force eventually left 80 people dead, destroying some 30,000 homes and damaging 140,000 others.

Typhoon Saomai, the eighth of a series of deadly typhoons and tropical storms struck southern China on Thursday 10 August leaving, according to the latest statistics from the ministry of civil affairs, some 295 people dead and over 160 missing. Typhoon Saomai, the strongest typhoon to strike the country in fifty years, pummelled the country's eastern provinces including Fujian, Zhejiang and Jiangxi, destroying thousands of homes, and necessitating the evacuation of over 1.5 million people on Wednesday 9 August prior to its arrival.

Table 1: Ministry of Civil Affairs -Latest Statistics for Typhoon Saomai as of 13 August 2006.

Province
No of people Affected
No. of people Evacuated
Damaged Farmland (Hectare)
Destroyed Farmland
Collapsed rooms
Damaged rooms
Zhejiang
2,426,000
1,001,000
80,800
4,600
21,000
82,000
Fujian
1,455,000
710,000
69,800
7,600
38,000
281,000
Jiangxi
1,841,000
35,200
89,200
13,300
1,900
7,200
Hubei
198,000
327
5,100
600
377
947
Total
5,920,000
1,746,527
244,900
26,100
61,277
371,147

Typhoon Saomai, packing winds of up to 216 km (135 mph) per hour, approached Zhejiang province and the challenge for provincial officials in the hours before its arrival was how to keep everyone safe. Exactly fifty years had passed since 1 August 1956, when 4,900 people were killed in Zhejiang province by what, up until a few days ago, was the most powerful typhoon to hit the area.

These past fifty years have given rise to lightning speed innovations in technology, tremendous changes in social and cultural roles around the world, and most recently enormous changes in China which now finds itself straddling centuries. In any of China's major cities one will encounter a cross section of groups of migrant workers walking the streets with shovels and gritty sacks of their meagre personal belongings representing some of the 800 million rural poor, (whose lives today are not much unlike the lives of the rural poor fifty years ago) and the newly emerging middle class.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

Red Cross Society of China: Wang Xiaohua (director of external relations department); email: rcsc@chineseredcross.org; phone: +86.10.6404.8366, fax +86.10.6402.9928.

Federation East Asia regional delegation in China: Alistair Henley (head of regional delegation); alistair.henley@ifrc.org; phone: +86.10.6532.7162, fax: +86.10.6532.7166.

Federation Secretariat in Geneva (Asia Pacific department): Ewa Eriksson (regional officer); email: ewa.eriksson@ifrc.org; phone: +41.22.730.4252; fax: +41.22.733.0395; or Sandra Rosner (senior assistant); email: sandra.rosner@ifrc.org; phone: +41.22.730.4456; fax: +41.22.733.0395

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