Red Cross responds to flooding as Typhoon Sarika bears down on Vietnam
By Ly Nguyen, IFRC
Severe flooding triggered by heavy rainfall in the central provinces of Vietnam has forced thousands of families to evacuate to safer grounds and left many other residents stranded without food or safe drinking water in their homes.
According to local authorities, at least 21 people have died, 18 were injured, and 8 others are still missing after the floods inundated more than 27,000 houses and damaged 770 homes in the provinces of Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue and Quang Binh, which was the most impacted. Around 1,600 hectares of rice fields have been damaged and some families lost their livestock in the floods.
In response to the situation, the Viet Nam Red Cross Society immediately released one billion Vietnamese Dong (86,000 US Dollars) from its emergency funds to provide immediate assistance to the affected people in the provinces of Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Quang Tri. This includes cash, 900 household kits, 300 shelter kits, 200 water filters and 70,000 water purification tablets.
The Viet Nam Red Cross Society headquarters has also launched an SMS campaign to mobilize support for communities affected by the flood. Between now and the end of November, each text message with the text “UH” sent to the humanitarian gateway 1404 will help raise 18,000 Vietnamese Dong (around 1 US dollars) for those affected.
While the rains have stopped, flooding remains a concern due to high water levels in reservoirs. There are also risks of flash floods and landslide in mountainous areas. As some communities in the central provinces begin to recover from the flooding, the country is braced for Typhoon Sarika, which is projected to affect the northern part of the country within the next 36 hours after exiting the Philippines.
Earlier in the week, Sarika left thousands of families in the Philippines in need of humanitarian assistance. Strong winds and heavy rainfall have caused flooding in some areas, blocking roads and access to villages. In preparation for the typhoon, the Viet Nam Red Cross has mobilized its National Disaster Response Team, which is on standby to provide relief and assistance should the need arise.