Afghanistan: Floods and Earth Tremor - Information Bulletin n° 1

Situation Report
Originally published

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In Brief

This Information Bulletin (no. 1/2004) is being issued for information only. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

Heavy rainfall from 13-16 July 2004 resulted in flash flood across the country leading to 13 deaths and affecting hundreds of families. Earth tremors during the same period have claimed two lives in Paktia province and affected 150 families in the Western Region.

The Situation

Heavy rainfall from 13-16 July resulted in flash floods across the country leading to 13 deaths and affecting hundreds of families. Earth tremors during the same period have claimed two young lives in Paktia province and affected 150 families in the Western Region. Coordinated assessments and response efforts are in progress at the central and provincial level with the Afghan Red Crescent taking an active role.


Floods have affected the Central provinces of Logar, Ghazni, Paktia and Bamiyan. In the Northern region Badakhshan, Samangan and Baghlan are among the hardest hit provinces, while the Eastern provinces of Kunar and Nooristan have suffered extensive damage. Hundreds of families have suffered the effects of the flood including the loss of life, and damage to property and agriculture. In the northern province of Badakhshan, reports indicate the worse affected districts have been Jurm and Shada. Eight people have died as a result with another two injured. Seventy houses, eight mills, two mosques and a shop are among the property destroyed. In addition, 4,200 acres of agricultural and canal irrigation land was submerged and damaged in the two districts.

In Baghlan province the floods have destroyed 27 houses and damaged 76 dwellings. There have been livestock losses while 1,701 acres of agricultural land and wheat harvest have been devastated. In Samangan province, flood waters inundated villages, damaging 250 houses, killing 240 livestock and damaging 28 shops and five mosques. Seventeen wells have been wrecked while 256 acres of land was damaged. A total of 14,500 trees have also been destroyed. According to the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Rural Development (MRRD), there is urgent need for 1,443 blankets, 515 tents, 1,084 2m plastic sheets, 933 jerry cans and 1,363 cooking sets to provide relief in the Kamer district of Bamyan province where five flood-related deaths have been reported and 80 percent of the area has been inundated.

Earth tremors

An earth tremor on 18 July in Paktia and Herat provinces resulted into the deaths of two people. Twenty houses were destroyed in Paktia. The tremor partially destroyed the homes of 150 families in the Herat province. This follows a number of recent low key tremors felt across the country and beyond.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action


Joint assessments, response and coordination efforts are ongoing with UN agencies including UNAMA, WFP, and UNICEF, WHO, Ministry of Rehabilitation and Rural Development, Office of Disaster Preparedness and the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) at national and provincial levels.

The ARCS, through its network of branches and volunteers, has been at the forefront of the disaster response activities and as a result is the main partner of various stakeholders in reaching affected and vulnerable people. Outlined below are some of the activities in the various affected provinces.

In Badakhshan the ARCS branch is liaising with UNAMA which is coordinating the overall flood situation. ARCS Badakhshan has already provided relief support from its emergency stock, providing 22 tents and 132 plastic sheets to flood victims. The WFP is providing food items. One ARCS Emergency Mobile Team (health) has been deployed to the area.

In Samangan, the Afghan Red Crescent with the support of International Federation provided relief items to 230 families with 180 blankets, 1,380 plastic sheets and 230 kitchen sets. The tents were donated by UNICEF and the non-food items, which included 115 bags of rice, 1,380 cartons of oil and 416 pressure cookers, were provided by the ICRC Mazar.

In Baghlan, the Afghan Red Crescent has assisted 103 families in Talwa, Batak district with 50 tents, 618 plastic sheets and 103 kitchen sets. Food items from ICRC included 5 tonnes of rice, 0.6 tonnes of cooking oil and 206 pressure cookers. The tents were provided by UNAMA and UNICEF.

In Bamyan, the Afghan Red Crescent in coordination with UNAMA, UNICEF and WFP provided 20 tents, 120 plastic sheets, 80 bags flour, 100 carton cooking oil, 45 bags rice, seven cartons of tea and 30 bags of sugar.

In summary, Afghan Red Crescent Society, with support of the International Federation and in coordination with other relief agencies, have in the initial stage of the disaster managed to complete the following distribution;

Wheat flour
Cooking oil
Sugar (bags)
Plastic sheets
0.6 tons
5 tons
1.3 tons
11.5 tons
80 bags
100 ctns
45 bags
80 bags
70 ctns
40 bags
50 bags
100 ctns
50 bags
250 bags
300 ctns
200 bags
*The quantities of wheat flour, cooking oil and rice in bags and cartons plus the sugar and tea have been dispatched on 21 July from ARCS own central stocks in Kabul.

Due of the lack of access to some affected areas, ongoing assessment and response will be slow and the overall extent of the affected population will take some time to emerge.

A two-day coordination meeting chaired by the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Rural Development with major stakeholders was completed on 21 July. The meeting resulted in a call for humanitarian agencies to assist with the response and rehabilitation effort in the flood-affected areas. The Afghan Red Crescent Society was recognised as the organisation which was the first to effectively respond to the disaster.

Earth tremor

The Afghan Red Crescent has completed an assessment in the quake-affected Ghorghand village, 130 km west of Herat city. A total of 150 homes were damaged. Response coordination meetings are being held between the Combined Disaster Management Team and other agencies including UNAMA, WFP, UNHCR, ARCS, the Federation and other NGOs.

Afghanistan is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquake, flood and drought. The Afghan Red Crescent continues to strengthen communities to be better prepared for these disasters.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Afghanistan: Alhaji Qrabic Izidyar, President and Secretary General , ARCS Society; Phone # +93 70 25 222

In Afghanistan: Jamila Ibrohim, Head of Delegation;, Phone: +873 382 280 530; Mobile # +9370 27 83 72; Fax +873 382 280 534

In Geneva: Jagan Chapagain; Regional Officer; email, Phone 41.22.730.43.16; fax 41.22.733.03.95

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at For longer-term programmes, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal.