Viet Nam

Viet Nam - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 3

Situation Report
Originally published
Ref: OCHA/GVA - 99/0214
Viet Nam - Floods
OCHA Situation Report No.3
12 November 1999


1. The torrential rainstorms of 18 October to 4 November 1999 which flooded several major rivers in the provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh and Phu Yen, have caused havoc in central Vietnam. At the height of the storm, known as Eve or Storm Number Nine, highly destructive (Level III) flood conditions prevailed, with roads, dykes and infrastructure suffering extensive damage and the streets of Hue, in the worst affected province of Thua Thien Hue, running with up to 3 metres of water.


2. Statistics provided by the Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control (CCFSC) as of 7 November estimated that 535 people had died as a result of the fortnight's flooding, 324 of whom lived in the province of Thua Thien Hue. More than 8,346 houses have collapsed and another 604,204 others have been affected. 15,000 people have been evacuated.

3. At least 63,726 ha of paddy fields have been damaged by the deluge, and 11,813 ha definitively lost, while 30,985 ha of other crops have been damaged. Figures for livestock losses occasioned by the floods reach as high as 693,154. According to the CCFSC, 32,830 tons of food have gone to waste and 130,000 tons, including rice and corn, lie rotting in warehouses. Huge swathes of farmland have been lost, and widespread food shortages must be addressed.

4. 267 km of road and 5,416 m of dykes used for conducting water resources and for transportation suffered heavy damages. Residents of Thua Thien Hue teamed together to work on the affected roads in their province, and most of these are now passable. Enough track has been repaired to allow rail transport of relief assistance, at least to Hue.

National and international response

5. On 9 November the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an official appeal for international assistance to overcome drastic food shortages and repair and replace housing and infrastructure in the devastated central provinces.

6. OCHA will provide a grant of US$ 40,000 from its own funds, together with an emergency grant of US$ 40,000 from the Norwegian contingency funds available with this Office. The two contributions have been allocated to provincial government emergency relief programmes.

UNDP have committed up to US$ 75,000 for logistical support for management of this disaster; UNICEF have committed US$ 51,000 through IFRC, and IFRC itself has provided US$ 50,000 for relief assistance in the affected provinces. The Government of France has pledged US$ 50,000 to flood relief in the central provinces, the United States will provide US$ 25,000.

7. Governments, international organizations and private enterprises responded rapidly to the IFRC and Vietnam Red Cross appeal for cash and in-kind donations to assist 150,000 of the most vulnerable households over a twelve-month period. US$ 2,264,034 of the target sum of US$ 2.7 million have already been met. The Government of Japan will provide 9.6 million yen through the IFRC and the United Kingdom US$ 200,000.

8. The Government, IFRC and the Vietnamese Red Cross Society continue to coordinate the distribution of emergency food supplies. Prime Minister Phan Van Khai has mobilized all available military personnel in a huge rescue operation to bring food aid to about a million people.

9. Two United States Air Force planes based in Okinawa, Japan, carried 40 tons of plastic sheeting, water containers, blankets and other items to affected families in Thua Thien Hue. Helicopters are air-dropping food in isolated areas, and some of the food taken to high ground is being more widely distributed by boat. Air force planes are operating airlifts of food, medicines, tents, blankets and other relief items from Hanoi and southern Ho Chi Minh City, for the benefit of flood victims in Thua Thien Hue.

10. At 3.00 p.m. yesterday a United Nations Disaster Management Team (UN-DMT) meeting was convened at the UNDP office in Hanoi. Participants included representatives from UNDP, UNHCR, FAO, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, and IFRC, officials from the Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control (CCFSC) as well as the Disaster Management Unit (DMU) project staff. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss emergency relief contributions, report on the distribution of relief items to date, and for the CCFSC to present a needs assessment for the provinces concerned.

11. In the course of the meeting UNICEF announced a further contribution of US$ 60,000, this time in support of emergency education, health and agriculture projects to be run by the Government. The WFP representative committed US$ 200,000 to be channelled through IFRC and VNRC for the purchase of rice. WHO made known their intention to provide 3 metric tons of water purification tablets through the Vietnamese Ministry of Health, and urged other donors to come forward with tablets for this purpose. UNHCR will channel US$ 25,000 through the Vietnam Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA). FAO would be ready to provide assistance in agricultural inputs and technical assistance, based on a specific request from the Government.

12. Participants commended the Government's move to set up their own coordinating relief committee, headed by MOLISA. CCFSC is responsible for updating the committee on relevant information, and the CCFSC representative at the meeting requested that UN-DMT participate by coordinating donor assistance and informing the Government relief committee of any further contributions.

13. The beneficiaries of flood relief assistance will be the most vulnerable among the population of 6.7 million in the affected provinces (31,506 km2 area). So far, 73,081 kg of instant noodles, bread and other dry provisions have been distributed, more than half in Quang Tri. 2,824 blankets, 1,135 metre lengths of plastic sheeting and 1,695 roofing sheets have been supplied throughout the affected provinces. Other items already distributed include water purification units and tablets, rice, paddy, kitchen sets and clothing.

A further UN-DMT meeting will be held in one week's time.

Assistance requirements

14.The official needs assessment report presented by the CCFSC to the UN-DMT on 11 November 1999 pinpointed the following needs:

Wheat Flour
Instant noodles
Bread, Processed Food
Life bouys
Plastic sheeting
Chemicals for water treatment
Cloramin (capsules)
Blankets and mosquito nets
Canvas tents
Iode salt
School books
School desks
High capacity motor boats
House frames
Rice seeds
Rice and vegetable seeds
Sugar canes for planting
Pigs for breeding
Rehabilitation of water resources, transport, agriculture structures
Other rehabilitation costs

15. According to CCFSC's representative, the most needed items are rice and vegetable seeds for the next planting season which will start from 15 December (this means that seeds should be available by mid-November); fuel for small ploughs, rice and building materials. IFRC's representative said that he would give priority to blankets, kitchen sets and food (in that order).

16. OCHA is prepared to serve as a channel for cash contributions to be used for immediate relief assistance, in coordination/consultation with relevant organizations in the United Nations system. Funds should be transferred to OCHA account No. CO-590.160.0, Swift code: UBSWCHZ-12A at the UBS AG, P.O. Box 2770, CH - 1211 Geneva, with reference: OCHA - Vietnam - Floods. OCHA provides donors with written confirmation and pertinent details concerning the utilization of the funds contributed.

International Contributions Table

17. The international assistance, which has been reported to OCHA as of today, may be found by clicking on Financial Tracking at the top of the page for this disaster on the OCHA Internet Website ( Given that information on contributions reaches OCHA Geneva from multiple sources, donors are urged to verify this table and inform OCHA of corrections/additions/values, as required. Donors are requested to notify OCHA Geneva of any further contributions to this disaster using the >OCHA Standardized Contributions Recording Format=, available electronically in the above mentioned Financial Tracking Website.

18. This situation report and further information on ongoing emergencies are also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone number: +41-22-917 12 34
In case of emergency: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers: Ms. S. Metzner-Strack/Ms. M. Kondo, OCHA Disaster Response Branch, direct Tel. +41-22-917 21 44 / 19 97

Press contact: Ms. E. Ponomareva, direct Tel. +41-22-917 23 36

Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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