Pakistan

Pakistan: Storm/Cyclone Yemyin - Information Bulletin n° 3

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published

Attachments

The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 185 countries.

In Brief

This Bulletin (no. 03/2007) is being issued for information only, and reflects the status of the situation and information available at this time. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

Summary: Cyclone Yemyin has subsided but has resulted in torrential rain in areas of the southern Pakistan province of Baluchistan, particularly near the coast. So far, 17 deaths had been reported in Baluchistan. The port city of Gwadar and the town of Turbat have been flooded and thousands of people have been evacuated. Numerous villages have also been affected. Portions of the coastal highway and bridges have been washed away and communication in several areas has been cut.
The worst of the weather is over in Karachi city, but rainfall continues, making life miserable for the affected population, particularly those living in slum areas. The official death toll is 72 but unofficial figures are estimated at over 200. There has been new flooding in Dadu, the district to the north of Karachi, while the adjoining districts of Thatta and Badin have received heavy rain but haven't suffered significant damage.

The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) is responding with emergency relief items and medical assistance, and is coordinating with the armed forces to transport relief items to areas which have been cut off.

The Situation

Tropical cyclone Yemyin has abated but the after effects are still being felt, with the southern province of Baluchistan being drenched by torrential rain. Flooding from the heavy rainfall has washed out portions of the Baluchistan coastal highway, and several bridges and numerous villages and towns have been flooded. There are reports of 17 deaths in the province so far, as a result of the bad weather.

The worst affected areas are Turbat town and the port city of Gwadar, with access roads inundated by water and thousands of people being forced to leave their homes for higher ground. The Pakistan army has reportedly transported approximately 2,000 people from Gwadar to safer ground.

Turbat which sits on the banks of the Ketch river, and 26 adjoining villages in the Ketch district, have been hit by floods. The Mirani dam, 50 kilometers west of Turbat, is overflowing, worsening the flood situation, with three nearby villages being swamped. The overflow has also contributed to the flooding of Turbat.

The Baluchistan provincial branch of the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has contacted the executive district officer in Turbat who reports that the situation is dire. According to the official, the town is inundated with water and people are taking refuge on the roofs of schools, mosques and government buildings. He says the rain is continuing and boats and helicopters are required to rescue people.

The Federation Pakistan delegation's disaster management manager says the coastal communities are vulnerable to any form of flooding. According to him, "They are generally poor and also not used to heavy rain, as this is a predominantly dry area. As people tend to have mud houses in or near dry river beds, a deluge like this will hit them hard".

Meanwhile, Karachi city, in Sindh province, is in clean-up mode following the weekend's violent storm. The official death toll is 72 but private ambulance services report collecting over 200 bodies. The majority of deaths and injuries were caused by flying debris, collapsing houses and electrocution caused by fallen power lines. The poorest areas of the city were the hardest hit, particularly the slum settlement at Gadaab, where 1,000 shanty dwellings were destroyed. The districts of Thatta and Badin, in Sindh province, also received heavy rain, but the situation is improving and no major damage has been reported. However the district of Dadu is suffering from flooding with irrigation canals overflowing.

Government response: The Prime Minister announced a relief package of Pakistan rupees 200 million (US$ 3.3 million/Euro 2.5 million) for affected people in Sindh province. This includes a compensation package of Pakistan rupees 100,000 each (US$ 1,650/Euro 1,200) for relatives of those killed in the disaster.

The armed forces have been co-opted to provide transportation of relief materials, including airlifts, to areas cut off by road. The Pakistan navy has been involved in rescue operations of fishing vessels.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

Pakistan Red Crescent Society: Khalid Kibriya (Secretary General); email: khalid_kibriya@yahoo.com; phone: +92 51 925 0407; fax +92 51 925 0408.

Federation country delegation in Pakistan: Asar ul Haq (disaster management programme manager); email asar.muhammad@ifrc.org ; phone +92 300 856 8136. Udaya Regmi (acting head of delegation); email: udaya.regmi@ifrc.org ; phone: +92 51 925 0416; mobile: +92 300 555 4502.

Federation South Asia regional delegation in India: Nina Nobel (acting head of regional delegation); email: nina.nobel@ifrc.org; phone: +91.11. 2411.1125; fax: +91.11. 2411.1128

Federation Secretariat in Geneva (Asia Pacific department): Christine South, (regional officer South Asia); email christine.south@ifrc.org; phone +41 22 730 4529; fax +4122 733 0395