Lao PDR

Lao PDR: Flash Floods - Office of the Resident Coordinator Situation Report No. 8 (as of 16 August 2018)

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Situation Report
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This report is produced by the Office of the Resident Coordinator Lao PDR in collaboration with humanitarian partners. The next report is expected to be issued on Thursday 23 August 2018.

Highlights

  • The Sekaman hydro-power plant in Attapeu has released water today as river levels are rising due to continuous rain in the area.

  • Tropical storm Bebinca is expected to hit the North of Laos during 16-17 August, potentially causing additional damage and further limiting access. Increased rain is also expected in the South over this period. The Division of Natural Resources and Environment and the Meteorology and Hydrology Department have issued a warning on the potential for flash flooding in three districts affected by tropical storm Bebinca: Sanamxay, Samakkhixay and Xaysettha.

  • As water levels are rising, UNDSS has recommended UN teams on the ground to move away from hotels near the river.

  • Land movement continues to be difficult due to mud and some areas are still only accessible by helicopter. Continuous rain over the past few days further hinders access.

  • The Humanitarian Country Team has launched a Disaster Response Plan requesting US$ 5.6 million to provide life-saving assistance and recovery services to 13,100 affected people in Sanamxay District.

  • As relief operations progress, the Early Recovery Cluster has determined debris management, UXO clearance and the elaboration of an inter-sectoral Post-Disaster Needs Assessment as priorities over the coming weeks.

Situation Overview

Heavy and consistent rain since 13 August has led to rising river levels in Attapeu province, causing flooding over roads and restricting access to Sanamxay. One bridge connecting Attapeu to Sanamxay has collapsed and is currently not passable by vehicles. There is a ferry transporting people from one river bank to another.

Two camps, Pindong and Tamayod, are mainly accessible by air. There have been reports of light vehicles reaching these camps. Another camp that had previously been only reachable by air has been closed. Ban Bok, 16 km from Sanamxay City, is reachable only via a mud road, with trucks frequently getting stuck and taking an entire day.
Kindergarten camp residents moved onto roads due to flooding in Sanamxay district. Sufficient relief goods are in Sanamxay City to cover immediate needs.

Ongoing seasonal rains affect living conditions in the emergency shelters and limit access and relief efforts.
Authorities are closely monitoring the level of the Mekong River and its tributaries. Tropical storm Bebinca is expected to hit the North of Laos during 16-17 August, with heavy rain in the South, potentially causing additional damage and further limiting access.

Partners have identified 10 cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition and 20 cases of Moderate Acute Malnutrition. Out of the 10 Severe Acute Malnutrition cases, 3 were found in the district hospital and the remaining had no complications and are being followed up by camp health post doctors.

A Rapid Food Security and Livelihoods Assessment is ongoing, conducted jointly by the Humanitarian Country Team and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Relief operations continue under the Government’s leadership and with support from the international community.
United Nations, Red Cross, INGO and Non-Profit Association partners continue to support local authorities and the ongoing operations, which includes the provision of Non-Food Items such as tool kits, tarpaulins, hygiene kits, water pumps, filters and thousands of water purification tablets to provide clean water, safe delivery kits, and tents; specific nutrition support and screening for malnutrition; delivery of rice, canned fish and food rations; emergency first aid and health services.

Current response priorities include the provision of food and cooking utensils; clean drinking water; specific items such as bins, water tanks and family kits; health support (delivery of medical equipment and supplies, including vaccination to prevent disease outbreaks, medical teams on the ground to focus on preventing of secondary disease outbreaks and to provide psycho-social counselling); shelter; the rehabilitation of infrastructure, including roads and bridges; and search and rescue of missing people. The needs are particularly high in the camps outside Sanamxay.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.