Lao PDR/Cambodia: Floods - Jul 2018Ongoing
Heavy rainfall over a period of several days in Attapeu Province resulted in dangerously high river and dam levels. An incident at the Xepien-Xenamnoy Hydropower dam construction in Attapeu province resulted in flash flooding, with eight villages affected: Ban Mai; Ban HinLath; Ban ThaSengchan; Ban Thahintai; Ban Sanong; Ban Thae; Ban Phonsa-ath; and Ban Nongkhae. (UNCT Laos/OCHA, 24 Jul 2018)
The collapse of the dam affected nearly 7,000 people and displacing more than 1,000 people. More than 100 houses were damaged, forcing people to seek shelter in local government buildings and schools. Red Cross teams in the Attepeu branch have distributed clothing, food and drinking water to households in the affected area. (IFRC/Lao Red Cross, 25 Jul 2018)
On 26 July, The IFRC released an appeal seeking a total of some 2.9 million Swiss francs, on a preliminary basis, to enable the [IFRC] to support the Lao Red Cross (LRC) to deliver assistance and support 7,500 people for 18 months. (IFRC, 26 Jul 2018)
In addition, Tropical Storm Son-Tinh affected several provinces, the most severe being Sanamxay District in the Attapeu Province. This is the largest flood the country has seen in the past 10 years. The UN activated five clusters: WASH, Health, Food Security and Nutrition, Shelter and Logistics. (UNCT Laos/OCHA, 29 Jul 2018) The water level is receding slowly, but road access remains difficult. (UNCT Laos/OCHA, 6 Aug 2018)
As of 28 July, 16,250 people have been affected by flooding in Attapeu Province following the impact of Tropical Storm Son Tinh that caused the Xepien-Xenamnoyu hydroelectric dam in Sanamxay District to break. 19 people are known to have died and more than 7,300 people have been displaced and are living in temporary shelters. Roads, bridges, schools and agricultural land has been damaged or destroyed, and most of the affected area remains cut off except by boat. There is an urgent need for food, sanitation and hygiene support, housing repair kits and psychosocial support.
Flood waters caused by the break of Xepien-Xenamnoyu dam in southern Lao PDR are flowing downstream, resulting in the evacuation of more than 5,600 people in Stung Treng Province, northern Cambodia. As of 31 July, no people have been reported dead or missing. The water level at Stung Treng is at 10.7m and forecast to reach flood level within five days. Local authorities are distributing relief items and NGOs have deployed staff to assist in monitoring the situation. (OCHA, 31 Jul 2018)
Tropical Storm Son-Tinh caused heavy rains in 13 provinces and unprecedented flash floods in Sanamxay District in Attapeu Province. As of 6 August, the water level is receding slowly, but access to the affected area remains challenging due to floods and mud. Some areas are accessible only by helicopter. Based on the Government’s information, 13 villages have been affected, five are considered severely affected. The Government has declared the affected area as a National Disaster Zone. Current identified needs are water, health, food, shelter and psychosocial support. (UNCT Laos/OCHA, 6 Aug 2018)
On 7 August, the Humanitarian Country Team launched a Disaster Response Plan to provide life-saving assistance to 13,100 people affected by the flash floods and re-establish their basic livelihoods. The Plan asks for US$5.6 million in humanitarian relief and recovery support across eight clusters: Education, Food Security and Nutrition, Health, Protection, including Child Protection and Gender-Based Violence, Shelter, including camp management, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Early Recovery and Coordination. (UNCT Laos/OCHA, 9 Aug 2018)
As of 13 August, 45 districts in Cambodia have been affected by flooding, after flood waters flowed south from Lao PDR. Almost 70,500 families have been affected, including 7,150 families who have been evacuated from their homes. In addition, 21,400 schools and 4,100 health facilities have been impacted by the floods. Local government and NGOs are providing people with food, NFIs, health support and cash assistance. (OCHA, 14 Aug 2018)
Tropical Cyclone Bebinca led to flooding in northern Laos, with impacts also felt in the south of the country. Heavy and consistent rain since 13 August has led to rising river levels in Attapeu province, where the hydro-electric dam collapsed less than a month ago. This is causing flooding and restricting access to Sanamxay, hampering the delivery of aid to areas affected by the dam collapse. Authorities are closely monitoring the level of the Mekong River and its tributaries. (OCHA, 20 Aug 2018)
As of 6 August, the flood had affected over 13,000 people. Over 6,000 of those have been evacuated to emergency camps. UNICEF and partners, with support from USAID, are installing water points (drilling boreholes with hand motorized pump) and toilets in the camps, as well as distributing 200,000 water purification tablets.(UNICEF 12 Sep 2018)
While the emergency support of the international community had originally focused on the impact of the flash floods following a dam break on 23 July in Attapeu province, given the ongoing rains, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 1 October expanded its request for assistance to the entire country. The Humanitarian Country Team in Lao PDR have selected the six hardest-hit districts in Khammouane province, focusing on lifesaving activities, and have applied to the Central Emergency Response Fund to address the life-threating consequences of the flooding in the province. (OCHA, 8 Oct 2018)
Appeals & Response Plans
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- Lao PDR: Flooding - Office of the UN Resident Coordinator Situation Report No. 01 (as of 24 July 2018)
Following the collapes of an under-construction dam in Southeastern Laos, Ms. Kanungnij Chantatin, Head of the Capacity Building and Disaster Preparedness Unit of the TRCS Relief Division, and Ms. Porntheera Chaleekort, Registered Nurse 6 of the Thai Red Cross Health Station No.7 in Ubon Ratchathani Province, were deployed as the Regional Disaster Response Team (RDRT) to Laos for relief and WASH support.
East Asia and the Pacific is the most disaster-stricken region in the world.
1 In 2016, disasters affected more than 86 million people in the region, compared with 40 million people in 2015.
2 In February 2018, Papua New Guinea was struck by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake which caused devastating landslides and widespread destruction. Some 270,000 people, including 125,000 children, are in need of immediate lifesaving assistance.
Part of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower dam in Champasak and Attapeu Provinces, Southeastern Laos, the subsidiary dam under construction collapsed on 23 July 2018. The collapse resulted in flooding of several villages with 5,000 million cubic meters of water resulting in more than 20 people dead and leaving around 100 people missing and 6,600 people homeless.
10 metric tons of food assistance distributed
US$ 0 six months (September-February) net funding requirements
16,766 people assisted in August 2018
Tropical Storms caused heavy rains and flooding in 79 districts of 14 provinces across Lao PDR. According to the Government, over 80,000 families have been affected. In response, the UN Logistics Cluster, led by WFP, was activated and provided logistics support.
ATTAPEU, LAO PDR – U.S. Ambassador Rena Bitter visited U.S. government funded relief projects for people affected by recent flash floods and met with Provincial Governor Leth Xayaphone and local officials to discuss recovery efforts during her recent trip to Attapeu Province on September 10-11, 2018 as part of the United States’ ongoing support to the Government of Laos’ efforts to help local people affected by the disaster.
ATTAPEU, Lao PDR, 12 September 2018 - “I just remember water coming into my home and people shouting,” says Khao Yai, 12. “I don’t really remember much after that. We just had to go right away, we left everything.”
A dam breach in southern Lao PDR in July released over five billion cubic meters of water – two million Olympic swimming pools worth – immersing an estimated 55,000 hectares of land and covering it with mud and sludge.
Weeks after the collapse of a dam in south-east Laos, SOS Children’s Villages is helping children whose families were displaced by the disaster and heavy monsoon rains.
As one of the first organisations to respond following the 23 July collapse of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy dam, SOS Laos is providing food as well as recreational and educational activities at two child-care spaces in southern Attapeu Province.
The number of dead continues to climb as updated reports come in from remote areas of Laos hit by flooding and landslides in recent weeks, Lao sources say.
In Houaphanh province in eastern Laos, heavy rains last week poured down a mountain into a valley, flooding a small river and slamming into villages nearby, an official of the province’s Labor and Social Welfare Department told RFA’s Lao Service on Thursday.
Author Karen Villholth Principal researcher; also Coordinator of the global partnership GRIPP, Groundwater Solutions Initiative for Policy and Practice, International Water Management Institute
Widespread flooding in Laos in recent weeks has blocked the start of the school year in the Southeast Asian country, with as many as 1,000 schools left unable to open by the Sept. 3 beginning of the new term, Lao sources say.
Speaking to RFA’s Lao Service on Aug. 30, an official of the Ministry of Education and Sports said that most primary and secondary schools in the country will not open next week.
Flooding from heavy rainfall has killed at least six people in northern Laos’ Luang Prabang province since the weekend, an official from the provincial Labor and Social Welfare Department said Thursday, as the Southeast Asian is battered by seasonal monsoons.
“Six are dead — two in Nam Bak district, one in Luang Prabang city, one in Ngeun district, and one in Ngon district, plus one child from an unknown location,” said the official who declined to be named.
A cheque presentation ceremony was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Putrajaya on 30 August 2018. The contribution was from the Government of Malaysia to the victims of the massive flash floods caused by the collapse of the Xe Pien-Xe Namnoi Dam in Attepeu Province, Lao PDR which resulted in 39 death and more than 7,000 people have been displaced or made homeless. It also caused vast destruction on properties and affected livelihood of the people in the vicinity.
Highlights and Key Priority
Water are seceding in most provinces, however in some area more slowly than expected.
National and sub-national authority, the Cambodia Red Cross and International and Local NGOs continue assisting the affected population particularly with food and non-food items (NFI) distributions, and in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter, health, education and protection.
Sizable of families affected in the provinces of Kampong Cham, Prey Veng, Kratie and Tbong Khmom.
As of 21 August, one million people remain in relief camps following flooding in Kerala. While flood waters have begun to recede, the situation has designated an L3 level of Disaster under the National Disaster Management Plan. According to the Chief Minister of Kerala, the estimated loss to the state is US$ 2.84 billion. The Indian Prime Minister has announced US$72.8 million in relief support, and the Minister of Home Affairs has announced an additional US$14.3 million.
A. SITUATION ANALYSIS
Description of the disaster
- The government of the Republic of Korea offered US$1 million in emergency relief aid and dispatched Korea Disaster Relief Teams (KDRTs) to the Lao People's Democratic Republic to help it recover from its dam accident on July 23.
° The third KDRT sent to Laos on August 14 will arrive at Incheon International Airport on August 24, local time, after ten days of medical services in the country, marking the end of the ROK government’s emergency relief operations there.
On 23 July, after weeks of heavy rain, a dam in south-eastern Laos collapsed causing flash flooding that destroyed villages and farms in Attapeu province. More than 13,000 people have been affected and at least 6,000 have been forced from their homes. It was 5pm when Po was warned about the water. Flooding is a fact of life at this time of year in south-eastern Laos, though, so he and his family stayed put. “I thought it wouldn’t be that bad.”
This report is produced by the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator Lao PDR in collaboration with humanitarian partners. The next report may be issued in two weeks’ time on Thursday 6 September 2018.
Last week tropical storm Bebinca hit the North of Laos causing the Mekong’s water level to rise.
Human impact was minimal. However, forecast seasonal rains will continue to hinder access to camps. Some areas remain accessible only by helicopter. Damaged bridges are being repaired and/or replaced.