On 24 June 2011, typhoon Haima entered Lao PDR and caused persistent heavy rains and strong winds at a speed of 10 km/hour in the northern and central provinces. Flooding occurred on the morning of 26 June, affecting the four provinces of Xayabury, Vientiane, Xiengkhouang and Borikhamxay. The heavy rains and floods caused loss of lives, injury, and damage to infrastructure, transportation and agricultural areas.
There were 8 reported deaths, 3 missing, and 1 injured across the four affected provinces. Initial assessments show that around 40 000 individuals from 20 districts have been affected by the floods.
As of 1 July, there are no reports of destruction of health facilities due to the floods.
Access to safe food and drinking water, essential medicines, and sanitation issues have been identified as primary concerns. The poor conditions in flood-affected areas currently pose a significant risk to health for vulnerable populations such as children under five, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly and the chronically ill. There are no reports of any outbreaks of malaria, diarrhoeal disease, red eye or respiratory illness.
The National Disaster Management Office is closely coordinating with the provincial Disaster Management committee and other relevant line agencies, particularly with the Ministry of Defense (MoD). The MoD deployed 4 rescue boats to facilitate the evacuation of the affected individuals (two boats were sent to Xayabury province and two were sent to Borikhamxay province). Assessments are also ongoing at the provincial level to identify current needs and status of response efforts.
The Ministry of Health has launched international appeals for financial and material aid and continues to mobilize all available resources to help the affected communities. A meeting with development partners has been requested to discuss the medical response plan for possible provision of assistance.
International partners are in communication with the Government for the provision of any needed support.
WHO continues to closely coordinate with the Ministry of Health and other partners concerned for the provision of additional aid and services that may be needed.
Provincial Labour and Social Welfare Report, 29-30 June 2011
National Disaster Management Office
For further information, please contact:
WHO Lao Peoples Democratic Republic
Dr Asmus Hammerich
Programme Management Officer (Health Systems)
125 Saphanthong Road, Unit 5 Ban Saphanthongtai, Sisattanak District
P.O. Box 343 Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR
WHO Regional Office
Dr Arturo Pesigan
Tel: (632) 528 9810
Fax: (632) 528 9072