Armenia: Hailstorm - Final Report - DREF Operation n° MDRAM006

Situation Report
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Description of the disaster

On 13 July 2020, a heavy hailstorm hit the city of Gyumri, Armenia. While Armenia and the targeted region have experienced hailstorms in the past years, this was an unprecedented hazard due to its volume and impact on the most vulnerable parts community of temporary shelters and the oldest part of the city. In both parts of Gyumri, the most vulnerable population is residing in temporary houses and old-type houses, which were significantly damaged.

The hailstorm blocked the sewage systems, and the rainwater flooded the streets, houses, shops, and other facilities within a couple of hours. According to the information provided by the meteorological services, a hailstorm of similar magnitude took place 170 years ago. The hailstorm and rainwater caused significant damage to the houses in the areas, where people still live in the temporary shelters (container-type houses) since the Spitak earthquake in 1988. These houses are old and vulnerable to such hazards. The hailstorm and the subsequent flooding caused significant damage to residents’ houses, including food stocks, clothing, footwear, and electric appliances. According to the rapid assessment conducted by the ARCS’ Shirak branch and the local authorities’ information, about 1,000 households were affected by the hailstorm, of which 600 families residing in containers, were affected the most. The most urgent basic needs arisen in the aftermath of the hailstorm among the affected population included food, clothing, footwear, electronic appliances, bed linen, and other essential household items.

The Gyumri municipality received multiple requests from the affected people, which were reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the local authorities. The requests overwhelmingly exceeded the capacity and resources of the local authorities to respond to the needs of the population.