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Comoros: Tropical Cyclone Belna (MDRKM008) - Final Report

Situation Report
Originally published
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Description of the disaster

On 2 December 2019, a cyclone named "BELNA" was reported in the Indian Ocean and two islands of the Comoros: the island of Anjouan in the region of Pomoni and Sima, and the island of Mohéli in the region of Nioumachouwa. These islands were classified among those most at risk of being impacted by Tropical Cyclone Belna. Indeed, the populations of these three targeted regions had previously experienced strong winds and heavy rains.

Immediately after the alert of vigilance declared by the General Directorate of Public Security (DGSP), Comoros Red Crescent in collaboration with the French Red Cross and the IFRC immediately set up a coordination unit to ensure permanent follow up conducted the rapid assessments in Anjouan and Mohéli. This unit also participated in the various meetings held at the DGSP to present the approach adopted by the National Society to avoid duplication and above all to ensure consistency among the various disaster response actors. These meetings also served as a platform to orient and brief the National Society staff. The unit was funded by the French Red Cross (3-days on call from 8 am to 6 pm) at the headquarters of the National Society.

On the basis of weather alerts, a DREF EPoA was approved for CHF 76,903 on 8 December 2019 to carry out three main preparedness activities:

  • Rapid assessments,

  • Training on WASH, Shelter and Health in the three at risk areas, based on previous experiences from cyclone Kenneth,

  • Preposition of NFIs for eventual assistance.

A mission led by an emergency relief and distribution manager of the NS was carried out on the two islands from 07 to 11 December. The objective of this mission was to:

  • Setting up of internal and external coordination mechanisms for the operation of the Comoros Red Crescent relief system,

  • Initiate the branch level intervention teams to the new procedures and the organizational mode,

  • Identify with the branches, the potential resource persons to integrate into the emergency system,

  • Brief volunteers on the actions to be undertaken during the cyclone alert phase.

The Anjouan and Mohéli branches conducted a rapid assessment in the mentioned areas but finally, Cyclone Belna did not have a significant impact in the area. Only a few preparedness activities such as trainings and assessments were conducted at a total cost of CHF 13,959. The balance of CHF62,944 will be returned to the DREF Fund.