OCHA - Geneva Natural Disaster Highlights No. 5

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 31 Aug 2006


On 27 May, an earthquake measuring 5.9 on Richter scale struck Yogyakarta Province. The epicentre was approximately 37.2 km south of Yogyakarta at a depth of 33 kilometres. The most affected districts were Bantul and Kulonprogo south of Yogyakarta. The death toll stands at 5,778. The number of injuries stands at 37,912. 205,888 homes have been completely destroyed. 406,166 additional houses have suffered earthquake damage.

Immediately after the earthquake, OCHA established an Information Center within the Government Office in Bantul, sent an UNDAC team and released an Emergency Cash Grant of USD 50,000.

On 14 July OCHA organized a "Seminar on Transition from Emergency Phase to Recovery and Rehabilitation" in Yogyakarta to increase the mutual understanding on policies and plans of the governments and international community in the transition from emergency to recovery and rehabilitation.

OCHA will facilitate further discussions among the governments and the organizations and agencies at different level as the follow-up activities.


On 17 July, an earthquake measuring 7.2 on Richter scale with depth of 48.6 km occurred, followed by a 6- foot tsunami, struck Pangandaran in West Java province. The National Coordination Board for Disaster Management (BAKORNAS PB) reported that the death toll stands at 637 dead, 543 injured, and 165 missing.

On 18 July, two inter-agency assessment teams from Yogyakarta and Jakarta have been deployed to the affected areas. The first team, consisting of 16 members from WFP, UNICEF, IFRC, UNDSS, Oxfam and OCHA, undertook assessment in Cilacap and Kebumen districts of Central Java Province. The second team, consisting of nine members from OCHA, WFP, UNICEF, UNESCO, WHO and UNDP, undertook assessments in Ciamis and Tasikmalaya District of West Java Province.


On 18 June, torrential rains lasting a threeday period, triggered flash floods in South Sulawesi Province. Two districts, Gowa and Sidrap, were also hit by landslides. The worst affected area is Sinjai District. The floods and landslides have damaged hundreds of houses, inundated rice fields and caused fishponds to overflow.


On 26 August, fires and haze worsened, especially in South Sumatera, West Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan provinces. Thick haze has led to disruptions of flight schedules, boat accidents in Musi River (South Sumatera), as well as health hazards in local communities and neighbouring countries.

In South Sumatera Province, local authorities have deployed 240 fire brigades personnel from Manggala Agni, 128 personnel from the Indonesian Military and Police, and also 2,340 community people from 197 villages who have been trained by experts deployed by the European Commission - Forest Fire South Sumatra Management Project. OCHA, through the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit, continue to monitor the situation and update key stakeholders.

Towards the end of August, heavy monsoon rains have caused floods and landslides in the mid and far western regions of Nepal. At least 13 districts have been affected, the worst hit being Banke, Bardya and Achham. An estimated 9,000 families have been highly affected.

The government estimates that 750 hectares of crops and 10,000 metric tons of food grains have been destroyed due to floods in Bardiya district. The district will require food aid for the next three months. In Achham, WFP estimate that 40 hectares of agricultural land has been destroyed together with standing crops such as rice, maize, millet and potato.

The Red Cross, UN, international and national NGOs mobilized their resources to support the District Disaster Relief Committee to ensure that emerging needs are met.

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