Lao PDR: Floods - Aug 2013
Unusually heavy monsoon rains, exacerbated by tropical storms, caused widespread flooding in more than 60 per cent of the Lao PDR from late June through August 2013. The situation was also exacerbated by passing typhoons Jebi and Monghut, which brought further rainfall to the region.
On 16-19 Sept, a tropical depression crossed over Lao PDR bringing prolonged heavy rainfall to four districts in the south, which suffered the worst impact of the floods. It is recorded as the worst flooding in the south of the country in the last 35 years. On 30 Sep, Typhoon Wutip hit Viet Nam and moved in over central Lao PDR.
It was estimated that over 350,000 people were affected by floods throughout the country. The floods also caused massive damage to transport, infrastructure, education and agriculture. Over 15,000 hectares of rice fields were damaged and thousands of livestock killed. Seven bridges and nearly 1,200km of roads were damaged in addition to irrigation systems, latrines, wells and reservoirs. More than 60 schools were reported to be damaged, with the loss of equipment and books.
As of 6 Nov, the flood waters in affected provinces had receded and the situation was expected to continue improving. (IFRC, 6 Nov 2013)
6.8 million population (2016) 50.2% Female 49.8% Male
23.2% poverty headcount ratio at national poverty lines (% of population 2012)
US$2,353 lower middle-income GDP per capita (2016)
Lao PDR is vulnerable to recurrent, sudden-onset and slow onset natural disasters with floods as well as storms and typhoons causing the most serious humanitarian impacts.
The first five years at a glance
In 2011, the World Reconstruction Conference recommended the development of an international best practice Recovery Framework Guide to assist governments and partner agencies in delivering effective and efficient post-disaster recovery programs. In application, the Disaster Recovery Framework (DRF) Guide is intended to complement the government-led Post-disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) process – an assessment method that presents damages and losses in a consolidated report.
A DREF Operation was initially launched on 3 October 2013 for CHF 292,168 to support Lao Red Cross (LRC) in delivering immediate assistance to 10,000 beneficiaries (2,000 families) for six months and to further assess needs.
Operations Update 1 (dated 6 November 2013) reported on initial steps to procure in-country relief goods and plans for Thai Red Cross to provide in-kind support in terms of staff to be deployed to LRC.
In September 2013, seasonal flooding in two southern provinces of Laos were the worst experienced in 30 years. The Lao Red Cross, with support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), French and Thai Red Cross, have been conducting a relief operation since October to assist 10,000 people with food, hygiene and non-food items. The IFRC released 300,000 Swiss francs from the disaster relief emergency fund to support the activities. The DREF operation closes on 2 April 2014.
Natural Disasters in Asia-Pacific 2013
Regional Humanitarian Partnerships Forum 2013
Partnering with Regional Organizations
NATURAL DISASTERS IN ASIA-PACIFIC 2013
1. Executive Summary
Overall Project/Programme Status:
Summary: CHF 292,168 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support Lao Red Cross in delivering immediate assistance to some 10,000 beneficiaries (2,000 families).
Significant progress was made during this reporting period, with the major objectives of the operation completed well ahead of schedule. Suppliers were selected, materials procured, and, most importantly, all planned distributions were carried out.
A series of five major storm events during the summer-monsoon season of 2013 caused flooding in 12 out of 17 provinces (52 out 145 districts) across the Lao PDR and affected a total of 395,000 people. Flooding is not unusual at this time of the year but the individual flood events were caused by different weather systems which occurred in different locations at different points in time (starting in July and ending in October 2013), and hit with varying levels of severity.
By Kate Roux, IFRC
Each year, seasonal rains bring flooding to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. It is not an unusual occurrence for communities in this part of the world. Yet in 2013, flooding in two southern provinces of Laos was far worse than has been experienced in past 30 years.
VIENTIANE – The United Nations World Food Programme has provided 223 Metric tonnes (MT) of rice donated by the Government of Japan through the APTERR (ASEAN plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve) to assist severely food insecure communities still recovering from the September 2013 floods in the Khongxedone district of Saravane Province.
In Syria, government forces fully control the town of Qara after almost a week of heavy fighting which caused over 15,000 Syrian refugees to cross into Lebanon. Meanwhile, the UN stated that it has brokered an agreement allowing for the Government of Syria and opposition negotiators to meet for peace talks in Geneva on January 22. The opposition reaffirmed the conditions of its participation: the release of prisoners, humanitarian assistance for besieged towns, and the exclusion of President Assad from the new transitional government.
Snapshot 12 – 19 November
Snapshot 5 – 12 November
In Syria, the opposition agreed to participate in international peace talks in Geneva under the condition that President al-Assad is excluded from any transitional government, which constitutes a major obstacle to the initiation of the process as the Government stated it will not enter discussion if this demand is upheld. The peace dialogue has been repeatedly postponed and will not go ahead as planned in November. To date, the overall number of Syrian refugees is over 2.2 million and the number of people in need in the country stands at 9.3 million.
Update No. 1 covering period 3 October – 31 October 2013
Summary: CHF 292,168 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the National Society in delivering immediate assistance to 10,000 beneficiaries (2,000 families).
With the onset of this year’s monsoon season in June, the river Nam Xan rose rapidly, eventually overflowing its banks in various places, causing widespread flooding and flash floods in the northern and central provinces of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR).
Snapshot 29 October – 5 November
In Syria, the opposition remains divided over their participation to proposed peace talks in Geneva, with a decision being expected by 9 November. In Damascus, the Government repeated that it will not enter discussions if President al-Assad is forced to resign. While the overall number of Syrian refugees went over 2.2 million, revised estimates indicated that the number of people in need in Syria has increased from 6.8 million in April to 9.3 million in late October. An estimated 6.5 million are internally displaced.
- About 224,200 people (32,356 households) in five southern provinces of Salavan, Champasak, Attepeu, Savannakhet and Xekong have been affected by floods
- 280 families in Salavan and Champasak were evacuated with 3 deaths reported in Champasak
- One hospital, five health care centres and nearly 100 ground water pumps were damaged by the floods
- Food, drinking water and medicines are the immediate needs, especially in Salavan, Champasak and Attepeu
In Syria, fighting has intensified in October with the Government gaining control of strategic areas around Damascus and south of Aleppo. Meanwhile, while the number of Syrian refugees has reached almost 2.2 million people, parties to the conflict and international actors are increasingly focused on the Geneva II conference scheduled to take place in November after having been postponed several times.
ECHO will contribute EUR 166 000 to IFRC emergency intervention following the devastating effects of cyclone WUTIP which brought heavy rainfall to the Southern provinces of Champasak, Salavan, Xekong and Attapeu. The Lao Red Cross is targeting 10 000 beneficiaries (2 000 families) for immediate assistance with basic food and non-food items.
ECHO is closely following the situation with regards the additional impact of cyclone NARI and a mission could be deployed, depending on the field assessment.
Relief mission departs tomorrow
First tranche of aid to the Philippines, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam
The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) is leading relief efforts to Cambodia, Laos, Philippines and Vietnam following the widespread devastation caused by recent tropical storms and typhoons, and most recently, the earthquake in Bohol, Philippines.