Viet Nam

Viet Nam Typhoon Linda Situation Report No.2

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
Appeal no. 22/97 - period covered: 1 December 1997 - 23 January 1998

The focus of the relief operation in the wake of Typhoon Linda has been switched to rehabilitation and reconstruction, as the health status and access to food among the beneficiary population is not as bad as was first feared. More than CHF 500,000-worth of relief items are being distributed this week, on top of the large-scale distributions of rice, clothing, mosquito
nets, blankets , medical kits and corrugated iron sheets already allocated to the 150,000 beneficiaries.

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 are still 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.

In the aftermath of the disaster, the International Federation despatched a rapid assessment team made up of in-country Delegation staff, Viet Nam Red Cross (VNRC) staff and two technical specialist delegates from the regional office in Kuala Lumpur. The team then provided the Secretariat with the information necessary for the launch of a preliminary appeal for CHF 6,750,000 in cash, kind and services to assist 150,000 beneficiaries for three months. Funds were made immediately available through an allocation from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund, followed by a generous response to the appeal, both from traditional donors through the Secretariat and from less traditional sources such as the OPEC Fund, private companies (Mercedes-Benz, Boeing, Coleman) and several embassies in Hanoi, allowing VNRC/Federation to respond promptly to the initial needs for shelter, rice, medicines, mosquito nets and blankets in the seven most affected provinces. Valuable support was also provided to the VNRC relief efforts by the local communities themselves, with donations in cash and kind.

Latest events

In early December, as people started to rebuild their homes using whatever material they could find, it became clear that the overall health status of the population and its access to food was less of a concern than earlier anticipated, but reconstruction needs were enormous. This led a partial revision of the plan of action regarding Red Cross distributions, giving more support to rehabilitation. After consultation with the major donors, the list of items to be provided was
amended, concentrating on corrugated iron sheets and wooden poles.

Red Cross/Red Crescent action

Distributions up to early January 1998:
CA MAU
KIEN GANG
BAC LIEU
VUNG TAU
SOC TRANG
TOTAL
Roofing sheets
31,716
16,296
8,352
5,732
3,305
65,401
Rice (MT)
163.60
76.80
73.20
49.50
27.60
390.80
Mosquito nets
5,740
1,474
3,600
744
432
11,990
Clothing (m)
10,870
10,870
Medical kits
1,636
805
589
400
234
3,664
Blankets
1,500
4,000
866
505
6,871


Relief items were purchased in Ho Chi Minh City and transported by lorry to the provincial Red Cross chapters. From there, they were picked up by medium-sized and small boats and taken to districts and communes along the waterways criss-crossing the region. VNRC staff accompanied the convoys and managed distributions. Beneficiaries were selected by the local VNRC chapters following vulnerability criteria and distributions were made directly to families and individuals,
who signed on receipt of goods. Two Federation delegates, one in Ho Chi Minh City and one roving in the areas of operation, provided technical support and ensured implementation of standard Federation procedures.

Further purchases worth CHF 580,000 were made in mid-January in Ho Chi Minh City and substantial distributions were planned for the week before Tet, the Vietnamese new year, which falls on January 27.

External relations - Government/UN/NGOs/Media

Ongoing consultations are carried out 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.

Conclusion

Thanks to a generous response from donors, VNRC/Federation continue to assist communities affected by typhoon Linda, shifting the focus from immediate relief to rehabilitation and support to reconstruction.

Ann Naef
Acting Head
Appeals & Reports Service
Hiroshi Higashiura
Director
Asia and Pacific Department