Viet Nam Typhoon Linda : Situation report no 3


After a halt caused by New Year festivities, the distribution of relief items to the worst affected in the flooded areas resumed and is now virtually completed. The entire operation will end shortly.
period covered: 24 January - 24 April 1998

The context

Linda, the worst typhoon to strike southern Vietnam in over 100 years, caused huge loss of life and property when it struck on 2-4 November 1997. At least 464 people were killed, 857 injured and over 3,000 reported missing. Nearly 80,000 houses were destroyed and a further 140,000 badly damaged. Infrastructure (roads, schools, hospitals etc.) suffered heavily and huge tracts of rice fields were inundated.

Latest events

The general slowdown of all economic activities in Vietnam, coinciding with the celebration of the Vietnamese New Year (Tet, between late January and early February) imposed a temporary lull in the relief operation carried out by the Viet Nam Red Cross (VNRC) for victims of Typhoon Linda.

Further difficulties were created by the heavy bureaucracy involved in large in-country purchases, and by repeated breakdowns in the two main facilities producing corrugated iron and construction frames.

Red Cross/Red Crescent action

Distributions of most relief items resumed at the beginning of March, at an impressive pace, and by the end of the reporting period the original plan of action was completed. Blankets and mats were purchased in Ho Chi Minh City and transported to the provinces by lorry. From there, together with the rice, they were conveyed to districts and communes mostly by river boats. However, procurment of construction timber and corrugated iron sheets from provincial capitals has been slow; whilst all items are now pre-positioned distribution is expected to continue until early May. As planned, final distribution was carried out by VNRC volunteers with the large-scale participation of the beneficiary communities.

The following table summarises distributions of relief items to approximately 150,000 beneficiaries in seven provinces since the beginning of the operation. Reports of significant in-kind contributions are currently being collated in the field and will be included in the final report.


CA
MAU
KIEN
GANG
BAC
LIEU
VUNG
TAU
SOC
TRANG
TRA
VINH
BEN
TRE
TOTAL
Roofing sheets
69,500
65,500
49,000
40,000
32,073
30,000
30,000
306,073
House frames
1,400
1,300
1,200
1,100
1,000
760
761
7,521
Rice (MT.)
300
221
260
210
200
150
160
1,491
Mosquito nets
6,740
1,474
3,600
744
432


11,990
Clothing (m)
10,870






10,870
Medical kits
1,636
805
589
400
234


3,884
Blankets
16,500
15,500
14,000
11,871
8,000
6,500
6,500
78,871
Mats
10,020
9,000
9,000
9,000
9,000
9,000
9,000
84,029
External relations - Government/UN/NGOs/Media

Consultations were carried out on a regular basis with the government's Central Committee on Floods and Cyclones and with other humanitarian organisations in order to ensure proper co-ordination of relief efforts. International, national and provincial media gave extensive coverage to the operation.

Contributions

Whilst the original budget was for CHF 6'750'000, on the basis of the scale of the international response to the disaster as well as on the considerable mobilisation of resources in Vietnam, we have revised the budget to CH 3'300'00. We are not, therefore, requesting any further contributions beyond the pledges and committments received to date. The balance of funds will be re-assigned to diaster preparedness activities to mitigate against the effect of further typhoons or for future relief operations.

Conclusion

Five months after the launching of the Federation appeal, the distribution of relief items to over 150,000 people who were among the worst affected by typhoon Linda is virtually completed. Final activities will include the distribution of the balance of construction materials and the disaster preparedness training. The final report on the entire operation will be issued in as soon as possible after the closure of the operation.

Hiroshi Higashiura
Director
Asia and Pacific Department

Peter Rees-Gildea
Director
Operations Fundraising and Reporting Department