OCHA Situation Report No. 1
East Timor - Floods
26 June 2001
1. Last week, three days of heavy rain led to flooding in inhabited areas of Los Palos in Lautem District (Population: 55,000), in the east of East Timor. The worst affected area is the town of Los Palos, the District capital (Population: 7,000). It has been reported that Iliomar, Leoro and Mehara have also been affected, but to a lesser extent and may not require humanitarian assistance.
2. The District administration reported on 25 June 2001 that more than 1,000 people from 190 families are in need of assistance, including 68 families whose houses have been damaged. One person was reportedly killed. Floodwaters have receded in Los Palos town.
3. Difficult access to the affected areas is posing a significant problem, in particular to Los Palos town and in coastal areas. Los Palos town can only be reached by air, as the access road at Sika Village has been cut off. Peace Keeping Forces (PKF) engineers have assessed the major road access problem and are planning both emergency and longer-term repairs.
4. Most immediate emergency needs for food, potable water, blankets, cooking equipment, shelter materials and sanitation facilities have been met.
National and International Response
5. District authorities are coordinating the relief efforts in the field with 120 people, with some external support in the way of resources and expertise.
6. The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) of the East Timor Transitional Administration (ETTA) has been monitoring the situation since 20 June. The National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) was activated on 20 June and is now assisting with on-site assessments and with the coordination of emergency relief in the district.
7. While no appeal for assistance to the wider international community has been made, ETTA has requested UNHCR, WFP and UNICEF to provide emergency relief. Relief items have been transported on WFP trucks to Baucau town and from there the NEOC has organized air delivery of the following items to Los Palos town (with support from PKF):
- food for 900 people for 7 days (WFP);
- 30 tents (UNHCR);
- 150 sleeping mats (UNHCR);
- 200 water containers (UNICEF);
- 3 bundles of quilts (UNHCR);
- water piping for emergency repairs of the water reticulation system.
8. Civilian Police (CivPol) and PKF are assisting in Los Palos wherever possible. In addition, PKF distributed some food rations during the first 48 hours of the floods.
9. At the request of ETTA, OCHA has decided to provide an emergency grant of US$ 20,000 for the purchase of relief items and to cover transportation costs.
10. OCHA is in close contact with UNDP East Timor and the NDMO in Dili, and will revert with further information if it becomes available.
11. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet website at http://www.reliefweb.int
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