Haiti: Floods - Information Bulletin n° 1

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In Brief

This Bulletin (1/2005) is being issued for information only, and reflects the status of the situation and information available at this time. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

The Situation

The Departments of the South, South East and Grande Anse have been affected by heavy rains which fell between 8 and 19 October 2005 as a result of the passage of Hurricane Wilma. According to information gathered in the early days of the disaster, 300 people in Tiburon, of which 200 were children, were evacuated to temporary shelters. Three people died in Aquin, one person in Les Anglais, one person in Camp Perrin and another in Port à Piment. Moreover, a landside killed 3 children in the area of Nan Mango near Palma, on the Gulf of Gonave. After these heavy rains, access to the coastal areas of the South East was difficult due to the flooding of three rivers. In addition, telephone communication was interrupted between Cayes and Tiburon. Consequently, it was difficult to obtain precise information rapidly.

According to current information from the Departmental Risk and Disaster Management Committee (DCRDM), more than 379 vulnerable families are reported to have been affected by floods in the South region: Cayes, Tiburon, les Anglais and the South East. In addition, the road between Cayes and Jeremie was cut off by a landside in Cober between Roseau and Beaumont. Tropical Storm Alpha affected Haiti with heavy rains on Saturday, 22 and Sunday 23 October causing flooding, mudslides and the swelling of rivers. 8 people were killed, 4 reported missed and many houses were destroyed and damaged in Grande Anse: Anse d'Hainault, Les Irois, Dame Marie; in the North West: Anse-Rouge, in the West Department: Carrefour, Gressier, in the Centre: Hinche and in the South West: Jacmel.

Red Cross action

The Haitian National Red Cross Society (HNRCS), represented by the regional branch of the South Department, took part into a crisis meeting organized by the Departmental Risk and Disaster Management Committee and which was attended by other organizations such as the civil protection (DPC), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and CARITAS.

The Red Cross regional branch in Cayes mobilized 20 volunteers to assist the DCRDM in distributing food items to 150 beneficiary families in the affected areas of "En bas Veritable" and "Le Coq"in Les Cayes. Some sixty families were evacuated to the Lutheran Church situated in the Le Coq area but at the time of this report, the families have returned to their homes.

The Federation provided the regional branch with 400 water purification tablets, 11 boxes of BP 5 nutritional biscuits, 10 boxes of body soap, together with logistics support. The same assistance was provided to the Jacmel Regional branch for those affected by tropical storm Alpha. An assessment is now being carried out to ascertain whether there is a need for further action.

The needs

Given the difficult situation in the isolated areas of the South Department, the HNRCS has set up a plan of action to respond to the disaster. This plan consists of relief assistance for 100 families and water and sanitation initiatives and will be implemented with the assistance of 30 HNRCS volunteers.

The immediate needs are as follows:

- 100 Kitchen Sets

- 100 Hygiene Kits

100 Family kits

- 600 Blankets

- 1,000 Water purification tablets

- Rehabilitation of 1,500 latrines (next step)

Coordination

Coordination is ensured by the Departmental Risk and Disaster Management Committee in the South Department. The Red Cross is working closely with the Committee in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and NGOs including World Vision, Caritas, "Action de Lutte contre la Misère" (ACCAM), CRS, and United Nations Volunteers (UNV) which is in charge of the technical coordination, together with MINUSTAH which provides the logistic support.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Haïti: Haitian National Red Cross Society, Dr. Michaele Amed=CEe G=CEd=CEon, President, Port-au-Prince: e-mail drgedeonm@yahoo.com, phone (509) 222 55 54, Dr. Jean-Pierre Guiteau, Executive Officer, Port-au-Prince, e-mail guitteau2001@ yahoo.com

In Haïti: Hans Havik, Federation Head of Delegation e-mail ifrcht03@ifrc.org, phone (509) 5102628,(509) 411 12 57, fax (509) 221-8633

In Panama: Gilberto Guevara, Head of Regional Delegation, Panama; email gilberto.guevara@ifrc.org; phone (507) 317-1300, fax (507) 317-1304

In Panama : Nelson Castano, Head of the Federation=ECs Pan American Disaster Response Unit, Panama; email nelson.castano@ifrc.org; phone (507) 316-1082

In Geneva: Luis Luna, Federation Regional Officer, Americas Department, Geneva; email luis.luna@ifrc.org, phone (41 22) 730-4273, fax (41 22 ) 733 -0395

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org