Floods in Southeast Asia and Central America
October 2011: Natural disasters are hitting hard in Southeast Asia and Central America at present. CBM and its partners are monitoring the situation on a daily basis. The impact of a natural disaster is greater for those living with a disability - many of whom may face difficulties in escaping floodwater, or in accessing the treatment and rehabilitation services that they need.
Monsoon rains and typhoons in Southeast Asia Heavy rainfall and a succession of typhoons have caused widespread flooding across Southeast Asia and affected more than eight million people. More than 800 people have been killed in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines since July this year. The monsoon rains are likely to continue until at least the end of October.
In Manorom Christian Clinic, which provides eye care to thousands of patients each year in the rural Chainat Province of Thailand, the water level has reached two metres, leaving staff no choice but to move equipment and medicines to the building's second floor. In Cambodia, Krousar Thmey School for the deaf is submerged and it will be several months before it can re open.
Tropical depression in Central America A tropical depression hit Central America on the second week of October and caused floods and landslides. 570,000 people have been affected in seven countries. Hardest hit is El Salvador, where more rain fell in a week than during the devastating 1998 Hurricane Mitch, reaching the highest level registered in the last fifty years.
CBM Salvadorian partner Hogar de Parálisis Cerebral, which provides care to persons with cerebral palsy and other disabilities reported that 80 families involved in the programme had lost their homes to landslides.
The importance of disaster preparedness In some cases, preparedness measures have proven their efficiency. The education centre run by the Christian Foundation for the Blind in Thailand (CFBT) in Khon Kaen province has been protected from water until now by its own earth dam and has its own water pump. LaValla School (Cambodia) which is right on the edge of the water is still safe thanks to the blockade they have built.