China: Floods and Landslides - Information Bulletin n° 7

Situation Report
Originally published
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In Brief

This Information Bulletin (no. 07/2004) is being issued based on the needs described below reflecting the information available at this time. CHF 200,000 has been allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). The Federation does not anticipate further needs. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are needed. This operation will be reported on through the DREF update.

The Situation

Floods and landslides in Chongqing and neighbouring Sichuan province following heavy rains on 3 and 4 September killed 76 people and 79 remain missing, bringing the total number of flood related deaths in China to nearly 900.

Flooding forced the evacuation of 82,000 people in 18 counties in Chongqing that has been battling floods since the season commenced in May, and 4,200 houses collapsed while 56,000 homes sustained varying degrees of damages over the two-day period. The flood situation in Chongqing's Kaixian county is of particular concern as 327.3mm of rain, the largest deluge in the past 200 years, hit the area. This affected all 55 towns in the county and more than 87,000 local residents, with Kaixian county's local government reporting nine dead and 18 missing. Flooding also caused a blackout and cut off traffic and telecommunications services in the whole county. Severe floods destroyed a bridge linking the county to the neighbouring Wanzhou district and blocked many of the county's access points. Kaixian, situated in the northeastern part of Chongqing, was the location of the 2004 gas explosion that killed 243 people. Only days after state television reported the end of the four month long flood season, the most destructive heavy rainstorms in Sichuan province this year hit the cities of Dazhou, Nanchong and Bazhong. Powerful floods triggered by the downpour so far resulted in 55 people reported dead and 52 reported missing, while mountain torrents, landslides and mud-rock flow in these areas left hundreds of local people trapped in floods, destroying houses and farmland and cutting off transportation.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) immediately released 50 tents from their disaster preparedness centre in Chengdu for distribution to homeless families in Sichuan. Provincial RCSC branches in Chongqing and Sichuan and RCSC prefecture branches in the affected areas initiated clothing drives and activities to gather relief items for the affected area, but the large amount of flooding surrounding Kaixian County mak es access to the county difficult for relief workers. The secretary general of the Dazhou RCSC prefecture branch is in the affected area of Sichuan with an assessment team and will be joined on 7 September by a team from RCSC headquarters comprised of the organisation's director of the relief and health division and officers from the relief and information departments. Following the 9 August launch of the RCSC national appeal to provide relief assistance to provinces affected by floods for the past four months, the national office of the RCSC supports activities at the provincial level by providing the branches with cash and relief items such as food, clothing and quilts. Funds released through the Federation's DREF helped procure quilts and rice for families affected heavily by floods in Chongqing and Anhui and for families hit by a series of typhoons in Zhejiang in August. The Federation and the RCSC are concerned about the health risks posed by floods as the principal hazard in flood affected areas is untreated human faeces, which contain various types of pathogens that mix with floodwaters and contaminate the very limited portable water supply. Based on the amount of flood related damage in Chongqing, the RCSC and the International Federation seeks support to initiate their community vulnerability reduction (CVR) programme in villages most severely affected by the floods to address the health needs of the affected population. The Federation and RCSC disaster management programme in China took an innovative direction through the development of the CVR programme that has its origins in the response to the 2001 floods in southern China. It was introduced and developed with support from ECHO in 2001 to reduce the transmission of disease carrying organisms and improve the general health of populations by providing a package that included Ecosan toilets, improvements to the water supply and health and hygiene education to poor rural communities affected and threat ened by future flooding. The CVR programme implemented in provinces affected by heaving flooding following 2001, 2002 and 2003 floods benefits 24,800 rural farming families (approx imately 124,000 people) in Guangxi and Hunan.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

Red Cross Society of China: Mr.Yang Xusheng, Head of the Relief Division, email;; phone +86-10-6512-4169; fax+86-10-6512-4169

East Asia Regional Delegation: Mr. Alistair Henley (HoRD), email;; phone+86 1350 1205 973 , fax+86-10-6532-7166

Federation Geneva: Mr. Satoshi Sugai, Desk Officer, email;; phone +41 22 730 4222; fax+41 22 733 0395

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at

For longer-term programmes, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal.