1. Heavy rains, started on 5 June 1997, caused severe flooding throughout Azerbaijan. Most affected are the districts of Tovuz, Khanlar, Sheki, Kakh, Belokan, Zakatali, Goranboy, Qakh, Ismailly, Kuradamir and Sabirabad.
II. DISASTER IMPACT AND DAMAGE ASSESSMENT
2. The State Emergency Commission (SEC) immediately dispatched assessment teams to the affected areas. Governmental preliminary reports indicated severe damage to: 25 bridges (non-railway); 1,750 houses and public buildings; power and communication lines; water supply; hydraulic engineering facilities (water control and drainage channels); large areas of arable land and crops (submerged or destroyed by hail). An estimated US$25 million worth of damages were estimated by the SEC.
3. Jointly with a governmental team, a DHA field officer from Baku visited the affected region along the Upper Shirvan river. The team travelled extensively assessing the impact of floods in Goychay, Dashkesan and Khanlar districts. Preliminary reports from the mission indicated extensive damage by flash floods to both housing and river embankments. Most visible destruction was visible at private houses and schools, which had their roofs destroyed by hail reported to be of a tennis ball size with a weight of up to 200-300 grms. More water-related damage is anticipated should heavy rains continue further, as the river flows in an artificial canal structure and river banks are no more in a condition to sustain exceptional water flows.
III. NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
4. Although the Government has taken active measures to alleviate major consequences of the disaster, due to the lack of sufficient national resources. some villages are still in need of help. Therefore, on 27 June, the office of the Deputy Prime Minister decided to request international assistance through the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Baku and DHA.
5. To facilitate the mobilization of external aid, DHA has requested UNDP in Baku and the Government to provide a detailed and quantified list of urgent emergency relief requirements for the affected population.
6. MSF (H) distributed plastic sheeting to 350 families in Khanlar district to temporary repair damaged roofs.
7. DHA is prepared to serve as a channel for cash contributions, to be used during the immediate relief phase, in coordination/consultation with relevant organizations of the United Nations system. DHA provides donors with written confirmation and pertinent details concerning the utilization of the funds contributed.
8. Donors wishing to channel their contributions through DHA should transfer funds to DHA account no. CO.590.160.1 at the Swiss Bank Corporation, Case Postale 2770, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland, with reference: Azerbaijan - Floods
9. For coordination purposes, donors are requested to inform DHA-Geneva, as indicated below, of relief missions/ pledges/contributions and their corresponding values by item.
Telephone number: +41-22-917-1234
In case of emergency only: +41-22-917-2010
Desk Officer: Mr. Sergio Piazzi, direct tel: +41-22-917-3518
Press to contact: Ms. M. Moulin-Acevedo, direct tel: +41-22-917-2856
Telex: 41 42 42 dha ch