A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
Heavy and continuous rainfall since 7 July 2018 has caused flooding in most parts of Sichuan and the southeast region of Gansu Province. In some areas of North Central Sichuan, there has been heavy rainstorms and torrential rains for four consecutive days. These were also compounded by the effects of two weather systems in the area; Typhoon Prapiroon, and Typhoon Maria. According to reports from National Disaster Reduction Commission, as of 13 July 2018, floods have affected 1,381,000 people, where 3 persons have died; 222,000 have taken emergency resettlement; 22,000 needed emergency relief in Sichuan prefectures of Deyang, Mianyang, Guangyuan (that includes 15 cities and 70 counties); more than 900 houses have collapsed, and 29,000 houses have been damaged. A total of 36,900 hectares of crops have been affected by the floods and 5,200 hectares will have no harvests this year. The direct economic loss has been estimated to be over 5.3 billion yuan.
Gansu province was hit even harder, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management. A heavy rainstorm occurred in Southeast Gansu from 10 to 11 July 2018. The provinces of Tianshui, Zhangye, Pingliang (including 10 cities and 46 counties) are flooded, and have affected 1,519,000 people where 12 have died; four are missing; and 30,000 were evacuated. More than 2,300 houses collapsed, and 19,000 were damaged to varying degrees. The direct economic loss was 3.6 billion Yuan.
On 12 July 2018, the Provincial Disaster Reduction Commission selected four technical persons and two satellite commanding vehicles - carrying unmanned aerial vehicles and 4G communications equipment - to collect unmanned aerial vehicle remote sensing data with the working group. According to this rapid assessment, heavy rainfall has resulted in a large number of seriously damaged houses that have continued to collapse in these two provinces. More rain has been falling over the past week, worsening the flood situation. The flooding season will continue until the end of August and more rain can be expected until then. The government has reinforced its coordination capacities by combining efforts with the National Disaster Reduction Commission and the Ministry of Emergency Management, who have launched a national Level IV disaster relief response in Sichuan and Gansu Provinces.
Summary of the current response
Overview of Host National Society
The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) plays an auxiliary role to the government and is one of the first responders to communities affected by disasters, providing much needed relief supplies and support. RCSC is recognized by the Government of the People’s Republic of China as an important institution for addressing a variety of humanitarian needs especially in times of disasters. RCSC, through its headquarters based in Beijing and 35 provincial branches and 97,680 grassroots branches, is closely coordinating its actions with central and local governments at each corresponding level, ensuring that Red Cross activities are focused in areas where they have greater impact in cooperation with the local governments.
On 12 July 2018, the RCSC responded to Level IV emergency response alert in the disaster affected areas of Sichuan Province. According to the assessed needs in disaster affected areas, the RCSC’s disaster preparedness center in Chengdu, 5,000 jackets, relief packages for 2,000 families and 100 tents with a total value of 945,400 Yuan were allocated in support of the disaster relief work of the Sichuan Branch. The goods and materials have arrived and have been distributed in the disaster areas. On 13 July 2018, the RCSC initiated Level III emergency response to the disaster affected areas of Gansu Province. Relief packages for 3,500 families with a total value of 1,042,610 Yuan were allocated in support of the disaster relief work of Gansu Red Cross branch.
The RCSC has developed 21 Emergency Response Teams (ERTs) that have been deployed to various operations and have the capacity to take leadership roles in supporting the continuity of the emergency operations. RCSC also has an impressive number of active volunteers, amounting up to 1,779,614 of them. RCSC has developed a comprehensive warehousing and logistics system by having one national level Disaster Preparedness (DP) Centre in Beijing, eight regional DP centres, 26 DP centres at provincial level, and over 670 DP centres at municipal and county levels.
Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country
Through its IFRC Country Cluster Support Team (CCST) office in Beijing, the IFRC supports coordination of disaster response efforts of its secretariat in assisting the National Societies of China, Japan, Republic of Korea and Mongolia.
IFRC will support the RCSC in the implementation of activities through technical assistance, programme planning, monitoring and evaluation as well as any required logistical and administrative support. In April 2013, 400,000 Swiss francs was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the RCSC in delivering immediate assistance to some 5,000 families (20,000 beneficiaries) affected by the 7.0-magnitude Sichuan earthquake.
Branch members of RCSC were conversant in implementing interventions that were then supported by IFRC.
IFRC retains a status agreement with the Government of People’s Republic of China since 1999. The IFRC disaster management colleagues are working together with their counterparts in IFRC and RCSC. The IFRC CCST in Beijing has been working closely with RCSC, and maintains close communication and coordination at technical and strategic levels. IFRC is monitoring the situation and liaising regularly with RCSC. It supports the National Society in operational coordination.
RCSC has an active programme of international cooperation bilaterally with other members of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, including its special branches in Hong Kong and Macau. IFRC has long-term cooperation programme with the RCSC in areas of technical assistance and development in organizational and youth development, health and disaster risk management. IFRC is well coordinated with the Regional Delegation of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Beijing through regular contacts and cooperation exchanges.
Overview of non-RCRC actors in country
The National Disaster Reduction Commission and the Ministry of Emergency Management have combined efforts and sent a working group to help in disaster areas and to guide the disaster relief work. Disaster management authorities in each province have deployed their emergency response teams to help affected families in evacuating from flooded areas. The provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters has organized emergency response teams on 11 July 2018 and worked with reservoirs in the upper reaches of the Yangtze river to reduce the pressure that floods have brought to Chongqing municipality and southwestern Sichuan. So far, around 52,000 Chongqing residents affected by floods have been relocated to safer places. Primary focus areas remain; the on-going response in Sichuan and Gansu; managing requirements; and having the capacity to facilitate new and ongoing assessments in new areas affected by floods. On 13 July 2018, the Ministry of Emergency Management allocated from the Central Disaster Relief Warehouse2 in Chengdu and Lanzhou 8,000 tents, 8,000 folding beds, and 50,000 quilts to some areas affected heavily by rain and floods in Sichuan and Gansu Province. The allocation is used to support emergency relocations and transitional life assistance, so as to ensure the basic well-being of the affected people.