Typhoon Morakot Situation Report No. 3

Situation Report
Originally published


This report is issued by OCHA HQ in New York. It covers the period from 28 August to 1 September 2009.


- 614 deaths confirmed, 92 still reported as missing.

- More than 1.6 million people evacuated.

- Direct economic loss estimated at US$ 5.3 billion.

- No significant gaps reported in humanitarian assistance.

- Focus of response shifted from relief to recovery.

II. Situation Overview

The landfall and flooding caused by Typhoon Morakot, during 6-11 August 2009, severely affected the following provinces and counties: Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangsu, Anhui, Jiangxi, Shanghai, Kaohsiung and Pingtung. As of 1 September, 614 deaths have been confirmed (including 12 people in the mainland provinces), and over 92 people are still recorded as missing. Kaohsiung County has been the most affected, with more than 400 deaths reported so far. More than 1.62 million people were evacuated. The extent of damage to livelihoods and infrastructure, including electrical infrastructure, telecommunication and hydrological facilities, was substantial. Agriculture has been the hardest hit sector. In the mainland alone, more than 3.4 million hectares of farmlands have been critically damaged by flood waters. Direct economic losses have been estimated at US$ 5.3 billion approximately.

III. Humanitarian Needs and Response

Needs Assessments

In the last week of August 2009, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in consultation with relevant authorities and partners, fielded two United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) missions, one to Beijing and the other to Taipei.

The first UNDAC team reached Taipei on 24 August and completed its mission on 28 August. After visiting Kaohsiung and Pingtung, the two most affected counties where 602 deaths have been confirmed, the team has concluded that there are no significant gaps in meeting emergency humanitarian needs of the affected population. There is however, a relatively small caseload of 2,676 displaced persons, living in temporary shelters, who require continued support and alternate housing in the months to come. Local authorities, Red Cross volunteers, religious groups, non-governmental organizations, and individuals actively contributed to aid delivery and massive clean-up operations at several sites. Local township leaders and volunteers are monitoring the status of, and caring for their neighbors. All parties met by the UNDAC team considered that the life-saving phase had been completed; and that the focus had shifted to recovery and reconstruction. Following the UNDAC site assessments and discussions with various officials, it was agreed that there is a need to verify stability of slopes and landslides, in particular, because of the probability of further landslides in the remainder of the typhoon season. Such a verification would also help the safe return of displaced people to evacuated villages.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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