DR Congo

DR Congo: Violent Storm - Information Bulletin n° 1

Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) allocated: N/A
This Bulletin is for information only. The Federation is not seeking any funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

The Situation

On 2 February, 2003 at 11:00 PM, a violent storm struck 6 villages of the District of Yumbi, in the province of Bandundu, Democratic Republic of Congo. The most recent damage estimates (according to official sources) indicate that some 1,664 houses were destroyed, with 17 deaths, and 1,702 persons injured (of whom 100 seriously). These figures are expected to increase as further information is received.

The Ministry of Health convened a disaster Crisis Committee to respond to the disaster. The Federation's Head of Delegation, the President of the DRC Red Cross, the national society Head of relief and disaster management, and the Federation's Reporting Officer took part in the meeting, together with UN humanitarian agencies and NGOs, including OCHA, UNICEF, MSF-B, OMS, and the ICRC. During the meeting, the representatives of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Health informed the participants of the consequences of the disaster and underlined the need of the humanitarian partners of the Government to provide support in the form of relief materials.

Red Cross/Red Crescent Action

Injured persons are presently receiving first aid in the city of Yumbi which is 86 kilometres away from Bolobo, the only city in the area with a small airport. The Red Cross provincial committee volunteers who are trained in relief operations and community based First-Aid are very active in working with the community to mitigate the impact of the violent storm on those most affected.

A multi-agency assessment team has left to the area, with two persons from the Federation and the DRC Red Cross. They will assess the disaster and will support the provincial committee volunteers with some relief materials and funding from the Federation's delegation in Kinshasa.

For a full description of the National Society profile, see www.ifrc.org

For further details please contact:

The Federation's Delegation; 00 243 880 1488; or the Information and Reporting Officer: 00 243 990 33 34 / 00 243 081 812 4239.

The Democratic Republic of Congo National Society in D.R..Congo ; Phone (243) (12) 34897; Fax (243) 88 04 151 ; email secretariat@crrdc.aton.cd

Terry Carney, Phone 41 22 730.42.98; Fax 41 22 733 0395; email terry.carney@ifrc.org

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For support to or for further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at http://www.ifrc.org

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

Bekele Geleta
Africa Department

John Horekens
External Relations Division