India – Floods/Bolivia – Drought/Ecuador – Refugees/Lao PDR – Floods (ECHO Daily Flash 27/06/2013)

India – Floods (Indian Government, Media, Assam Disaster Management)

The rescue operations in the flood-hit districts of Uttarakhand are continuing and nearing completion; ca. 3 400 people were evacuated by the Indian Army, Air Force and Police on 26 June with an estimated 3 000 - 4 000 people still stranded in Badrinath, Dharsu and Harsil districts.

More than 100 villages in Uttarakhand are estimated to have been badly damaged or destroyed by the flash floods of 15-17 June. As many as 600 villages remain cut-off (estimate by Indian media) and are sustained by air-drops. An estimated 658 villages are without power. The death toll as of 26 June was 845 people and at least 300-400 people are still missing.

Meanwhile, heavy rainfall in Andra Pradesh, SE India, has caused local rivers to overflow and stranded ca. 50 villages in Adilabad district. Heavy rainfall has also hit NE India in the last couple of days, causing floods in Assam that affected 17 villages in two districts. No casualties have been reported as of early on 27 June by these flood events.

The Government of India has not requested international assistance, but has launched a massive and effective search, rescue and evacuation operation, involving the Indian Air Force, the Army, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the Border Roads Organisation, and the National Disaster Response Force. Emergency relief camps have been set up. The Central Government has announced a total relief package of EUR 128 million.

Ecuador – Refugees (ECHO)

In the framework of the World Refugee Day, 20 June, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador has confirmed that the country hosts a total of 55 249 refugees from 70 different countries, 98,4% from Colombia. A total of 166 613 asylum requests have been received over the last decade and for this reason Ecuador is the country with the highest number of asylum seekers and refugees in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility reiterated the commitment of the Ecuadorian state in to continue providing assistance and protection to this population, with the support of the international community.

In May 2012, the Government adopted Refugee Decree 1 182, removing the broader refugee definition contained in the Cartagena Declaration and introducing more restrictive admissibility procedures. The decree gives a maximum of 15 days to asylum seekers to submit their admission requests. John Fredrickson, UNHCR Representative in Ecuador, has expressed his concern as this decree could trigger invisibility and clandestine situations. UNHCR expects to maintain the dialogue with the State.

Lao PDR – Floods (ECHO)

Due to heavy rain on 26 June, flash flooding occurred in Bolihan District of Bolikhamxay Province, Lao PDR. On 24 June the water level of the Nam river had risen significantly, affecting 5 000 people in nine villages.
No casualties are reported, but damage to houses, rice stocks, equipment and livestock.