Lao People's Democratic Republic: Flash Floods Emergency Appeal n° MDRLA005; Emergency Plan of Action Operation Update n° 2, 31 October 2018



Description of the disaster

The collapse of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy dam on 23 July 2018 as a result of Tropical Storm Son Tinh that had made land fall days earlier, has caused massive flash floods that affected 13,100 people and displaced 6,000 people, leaving 39 dead and around 97 missing (according to UN Situation Report no. 9).

Following Son Tinh was the Tropical Storm Bebinca which hit the country only weeks after. According to latest Government reports, all provinces in Lao PDR have been affected, including an estimated 116 districts, 2,400 villages and 132,000 households. According to the UN Information Bulletin No.2, around 17,000 people are currently evacuated from their villages, and 1,772 houses have been destroyed.

Approximately 150 km of national and provincial roads, as well as 133 km of district and 350 km of rural roads and 47 bridges have been damaged. Moreover, around 100,000 hectares of paddy field have been damaged, and a large number of livestock has been lost, including 17,000 large animals and 79,000 poultry. Irrigation systems have been heavily damaged. The most affected provinces are Attapeu, Khammouane, Savannakhet, Champasak and Oudomxay. As the floods have increasingly affected also other parts of the country, the Humanitarian Country Team has enhanced the Disaster Response Plan by expanding the focus of the operation from Attapeu to cover the entire country. The Lao Red Cross will be responding according to the original plan. This Emergency Appeal operation remains to be focusing on Attapeu flash flood response and recovery.

Summary of current response

Overview of Host National Society

Since the collapse of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy dam, Lao Red Cross (LRC), both at the Headquarter and its branch in Attapeu, has continued to provide relief items and health services, including first aid and psychosocial support, to the affected people from 1,127 households in seven villages. From the beginning of the operation, two water purification units have been deployed to Sanamxay district, Attapeu from Champasak provincial branch and Vientiane Capital to provide safe water to the affected people. These two units have been operating in full capacity and producing at least 15,000 litres of clean water daily for around 3,750 people. They were later brought to Tamoyod Village in addition to the other two units that were being installed there.

LRC both at the headquarters and the Attapeu Chapter have been working closely with the Emergency Appeal (EA) to identify the beneficiary and coordinate with relevant government agencies with regard to facilitating the internationallysupported relief operation. As of 30 September, LRC has dispatched 2-3 rotations its officer in charge of relief (4), WASH (2), health (3), first aid (2) as well as communications (2) to the ground.

As auxiliary to the Lao Government in providing humanitarian services, the LRC (established in 1955) aims to support the most vulnerable people’s basic needs on time. The National Society (NS) works with communities to improve their health and livelihoods and help them to prepare for and respond to disasters.

The NS communicates early warning information, provides emergency relief supplies including food and medical kits, and conducts village level assessments in coordination with the Department of Disaster Management and Climate Change (DDMCC) in times of emergency. The LRC structure consists of a national office, 18 provincial branches and 47 district chapters.

The president of the LRC is a member of the National Disaster Management Committee (NDMC) with LRC national office having direct communication with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO). Provincial branches coordinate with the Provincial Disaster Management Committee (PDMC) while the LRC district coordinator is a member of the District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC).