Viet Nam

Viet Nam: Floods - Information Bulletin n° 1

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In Brief

This Bulletin is being issued for information only, and reflects the situation and the information available at this time. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

The Situation

Heavy incessant rains in the past four days (some 10,000 mm) has caused severe flooding in six provinces across Central Viet Nam and its Central Highlands; namely Dak Lak, Lam Dong, Gia Lai, Dak Nong, Ha Tinh and Quang Binh.

The flooding in these areas are the most devastating since 1944. To date, some 61 people have been reported dead while six are still missing. The hardest hit provinces are Ha Tinh and Quang Binh, two central provinces classified by the government of Viet Nam as amongst the poorest provinces. Altogether, 27 communes in Ha Tinh and 66 communes in six districts in Quang Binh have been submerged in flood waters for up to four days.

About 130,000 people (approx. ten percent of the resident population) ere severely affected by the floods in Ha Tinh province, with 80 percent of this concentrating in the two mountainous districts of Ha Tinh. In Quang Binh province, 240,000 people (30 percent of the resident population) are in the same situation.

According to the latest estimation by the Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control of Viet Nam (CCFSC), nearly 400 houses have collapsed and 54,854 houses badly damaged, in many instances, waters having reached the roofs of these houses. It is estimated that 15,000 families (approx. 47,000 people) in Quang Binh have been evacuated to safer surrounding areas.

Personal belongings, household items and food stocks have been damaged while livelihoods have been disrupted. About 98,540 hectares of farmlands have been inundated with floodwater for several days now, destroying valuable rice and vegetable fields. Initial estimates show losses in agriculture of up to 30,000 tons of rice for the coming harvest. Around 4,267 hectares of aqua-cultural farms are also damaged. Health officials warned of the increasing risks of disease as a result of waterborne diseases.

There has not been any electricity supply for four days while submerged roads and railway lines have affected transportation and communication between the North and South for almost four days. The railway network was restored on 11 August, and trains resumed with a limited speed of 50 km per hour.

Damages are estimated at USD 28 million in Ha Tinh (CHF 33 million), which accounts for revenues of one-year for the province. Similar estimations for Quang Binh province is USD 29 million (CHF 35 million) accounting to nearly two thirds of the revenue of the province.

The impact of the flood has received national attention. The government of Viet Nam has pledged to release 3,000 tons of rice which will cover immediate needs and USD 5 million for relief and rehabilitation to the five affected provinces, focussing on the most severely hit provinces of Ha Tinh and Quang Binh.

The Viet Nam ministry of health (MoH) in cooperation with other relevant authorities is working on water clearance while the Viet Nam Fatherland Front (VFF) has launched a local appeal to seek support for the affected people. Nevertheless, a huge gap exists still to cover the needs of the affected people.

The following items are initial indications of the current needs, which will be supplied by VNRCs chapters

Items
No.
Blankets
30,000
Mosquito nets
20,000
Utensils
20,000
Water containers
20,000

The beneficiaries will return to their houses once the water has receded. However, many of their belongings have been destroyed or washed away and thus they will need some initial assistance to return to some degree of normality. As the school year approaches, it will be critical to supply school children with text books (as they have been washed away or are completely destroyed). In addition, a large number of the beneficiaries live in rural and mountainous areas where drinking water is obtained from open household wells. These wells have been contaminated by the flooding, thus increasing the health risks.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The Viet Nam Red Cross (VNRC) headquarter has sent two groups to the six affected provinces in Central Viet Nam and the Central Highlands to assist those affected by the floods with relief goods and to conduct further assessments. VNRC has immediately provided 900 household kits and VND 82 million (CHF 6,000) in cash from its buffer stock and emergency fund relief respectively, to support people in these six provinces. The relief items consist of plastic water collectors, water containers, soaps, mosquito nets, blankets and utensils. Cash will be provided to the most vulnerable households, with each family receiving VND 1,000,000 (CHF 84).

Red Cross chapters have responded immediately to the floods, using chapter cars and speedy boats to evacuate people and rented trucks to transport relief goods to the distribution points.

The Federation is supporting the VNRC with coordination, communication and technical advice along with other stakeholders in the national disaster management working group consisting of the government of Viet Nam, the United Nations and non-government organizations. VNRC staff is present in a joint needs assessment which includes members of the national disaster management working group. The joint assessment is ongoing and a clearer picture of the impact of the disaster and plans for relief and rehabilitation efforts will be available shortly. A report presenting updated figures of damages as well as needs will be available soon.

Contact information

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

Viet Nam Red Cross: Dr. Trinh Bang Hop, Head of International Relations and Development Department, email: vnrchq@netnam.org.vn; Phone: +84.4.822.4320; Fax: +84.4.942.4285

Federation Viet Nam delegation: Irja Sandberg, head of delegation, email: irja.sandberg@ifrc.org; Phone: +84.4.942.2980 (ext. 216); Fax: +84.4.942.2987

Federation Regional Representation Office: Mr. Bekele Geleta, Regional Representative, Bangkok, Phone: +66 26661 8201 ext 100, Email: bekele.geleta@ifrc.org

Asia Pacific Zone in Kuala Lumpur: Ms Amy Gaver, phone: + 60 3 2161 0892, fax: +60 3 2161 1210, mobile +60 12 220 1174, email: amy.gaver@ifrc.org