Sikkim Earthquake - DREF operation n° MDRIN008 - Update no 01

Situation Report
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The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross and Red Crescent emergency response. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation’s disaster response system and increases the ability of National Societies to respond to disasters.

Period covered by this update: 22 September to 1 October 2011.

CHF 97,137 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the National Society in delivering immediate assistance to some 5,000 beneficiaries. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

Summary: To date, the 6.8 magnitude earthquake which struck Sikkim on 18 September has claimed 112 lives in the state. Many areas in the north district are still inaccessible by road, posing a challenge to extending relief assistance to the people in need. The Government of India has put 36 helicopters in action as part of the relief efforts. However, heavy rains and dense fog have hampered the entire operation.

An Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) relief team reached Gangtok on 21 September and since then has been trying to proceed to the most severely affected areas for assessment and relief work. The continuing landslides, heavy rains and dense fog prevented the team from reaching Chungthang. The team was able to airlift a water purification unit to Chungthang on 27 September 2011 by helicopter and the unit was installed the following day. This unit is now providing water to around 1,500 people. Many workers from other parts of the country who were working on the various development projects have been stranded in Chungthang. The deployed team is closely working with the Sikkim state branch volunteers under the leadership of the state secretary and has started distributing non-food items. The restoring family links (RFL) services are also being delivered in Chungthang and Mangan.

This operation is expected to be implemented over three months, and will be completed by 22 December 2011. The Canadian Red Cross/government has replenished the DREF for this allocation.

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