From WEEKLY NEWS 46/99
Earlier this week, floods devastated central Vietnam for the second time in less than a month, leaving at least 115 people dead, 450,000 people homeless and severely affecting nearly one million. "These people were just starting to get their lives together, and now their hopes been washed away again," said John Geoghehan, Federation head of delegation for Vietnam. Vietnamese Red Cross Society (VNRC) volunteers and staff, working in coordination with government teams, carried out search and rescue missions, helped evacuate people and distributed emergency relief items. With roads washed away, distributions of food, blankets and plastic sheeting have been hampered. The Vietnamese Red Cross has sent 80 tonnes of assistance to the affected areas, with support from the Federation.
Flooding has also prevented farmers from planting their rice fields. The priorities are still food, shelter materials and cooking utensils.
Joint VNRC/Federation assessment teams have been despatched to the central provinces to evaluate needs and damage further. The Federation's initial appeal of 4.1 million Swiss francs, launched on 5 November, has been revised upwards for the second time and now totals 7.3 million Swiss francs, in order to bring emergency relief to 258,000 people. With floodwaters only now beginning to recede, attention is switching to longer term needs.
WEEKLY NEWS IS PUBLISHED BY THE INTERNATIONAL
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