Comoros: Karthala Volcanic Eruption OCHA Situation Report No. 4

Ref. OCHA/GVA - 2005/0084

OCHA Situation Report No. 4
Comoros - Karthala Volcanic Eruption
24 May 2005

1. Situation

No further activity of the Karthala Volcano has been reported, but sources warn that the possibility of a new eruption in the coming weeks or months still exists.

The 10,000 persons displaced immediately after the eruption have returned to their homes and work is underway to restore potable water and sanitation facilities to the estimate 39,000 affected by volcanic ash fallout.

2. Needs

The Comoros Government issued an appeal on 30 April 2005 requesting 366,900 Euros (approximately US $ 460,000) in assistance to provide potable water and environmental sanitation following damage incurred due from the ash fall. A needs assessment was conducted, highlighting three areas of priority needs: supply of potable water, protection of water cisterns, and strengthening the capacity of the national emergency operation centre (national and island coordination structures.)

3. Response

In addition to the contributions mentioned in the previous Situation Reports, OCHA has provided an emergency cash grant of US $50,000 to cover water cisterns that have been cleaned by the national RC society, to rent water trucks to fill them, and to help strengthen emergency coordination structures.

UNDP has obtained US $50,000 from its Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) to re-supply potable water and to provide information technology to strengthen national coordination structures.

ECHO sent a mission to Comoros from 2 to 4 May. A proposal for assistance in potable water supply, cleaning and protection of cisterns, and national capacity building and hygiene and water and sanitation education is under consideration.

The following table shows donor contributions to date:

EUR 6,000
France Volcanologists
EUR 5,000
Red Cross/ Red Crescent Pumps, water reservoirs, plastic sheeting, water testing kits (600 kg of material)
OCHA Emergency Cash Grant
US $ 50,000
UNDP Gasoline (from BCPR)
US $ 50,000
UNICEF Health kits, rice, water cisterns, transport costs
WHO 4wd vehicle

4. Coordination

Disaster response coordination falls under responsibility of the Ministry of Defence and Territorial Security, which manages relief operations through a Central Command Post. International support is coordinated by the UN Resident Coordinator. The OCHA Regional Office is maintaining regular contact with the Resident Coordinator in order to determine additional coordination support needs.

5. Contact

Ms. Giuseppina Mazza, UN Resident Coordinator: + 269 73 10 25

Mr. Chris Kaye, OCHA Regional Office for Southern Africa: + 27 11 517 1609

This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:

Ms. Wendy Cue, direct Tel. +41-22-917 2632
Mr. Michel N. Kassa, direct Tel. +41-22-917 2163

Press contact:

(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker direct Tel. +1-917-892 16 79


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