Viet Nam

Vietnam: Floods and Storms Appeal No. 23/2000 Final Report

Originally published


This Final Report is intended for reporting on emergency appeals
Launched on: 13 September 2000 (to assist 60,000 beneficiaries for 3 months) for CHF 338,764

Budget increased to CHF 9,036,180. Programme extension to 30 November 2001

Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) Allocated: CHF 100,000

Beneficiaries: 350,000

Operations Update No. 6 (FINAL) Period covered: 13 September 2000 - 30 November 2001

"At a glance"

Appeal coverage: 107%

Related Appeals: 01.46/2001 and 01.36/2002

Huge challenges were faced with this operation, testing and stretching the resources and organisational capacity of the Vietnam Red Cross (VNRC). With the assistance of the Federation's in-country delegation, these challenges were met with commitment and competency, ensuring that there was cooperation at all levels within the organisation, with Red Cross member partners, the Government of Vietnam and other implementing NGOs. Emergency international assistance was requested and appropriately managed, and essential support was strategically and speedily provided to those most vulnerable, affected by the floods and storms, in Vietnam. Capacity considerations caused delays in implementing some elements of the rehabilitation phase, while difficulties with data reconciliation - not all resolved - have adversely influenced the timing of this final report.

Background & Operational Developments:

Mekong Delta Floods

Between July and November 2000, over 500 sq. kilometers in five Provinces of the Mekong Delta in the south of Vietnam, were flooded. Vietnam's worst floods in 60 years, flood waters remained at critical levels for this entire period and affected the lives of over five million of the most impoverished people in Vietnam. Enormous economic losses were sustained and the humanitarian impact of the floods was immense, resulting in over 480 deaths. More than half a million people were evacuated, some several times due to the unpredictability of the water levels. As flood levels began to recede in November 2000, the devastation left in their wake, especially in remote rural areas became more noticeable. The Delta is economically important to Vietnam as it accounts for 40% of the country's agricultural production, including 50% of the rice crop. It also houses new economic zones which are frontier settlements set up in an expansive, water logged region, barely above sea level. Although damage to crops was minimised through a government supported effort to harvest, the damage to land and some stocks has repercussions for future farming. Infrastructure and public buildings, which sustained considerable damage during the floods were subsequently repaired through Government agencies and international support. This included a major undertaking to strengthen bridges and dykes and raise the levels of roads. Whilst these measures, once implemented, should minimise the effects of future floods, many of those affected are still struggling to recover from heavy financial and physical losses already sustained.

Flood levels started to rise again in 2001 when Typhoon Durian hit the northern province of Quang Ninh on 2nd July. This was followed by heavy, prolonged rainfall which resulted in flash floods and landslides. Flood water levels in subsequent months again rose to and above Alarm level III, and in September 2001 a national appeal was launched by the Vietnamese Red Cross Society to support their ongoing efforts to assist those worst affected. A similar situation arose in September/October 2002, affecting seven provinces and leading to the launch of a national appeal.

Ha Thinh Storm Damage

Tropical Storm "Wukong" hit the north/central Province of Ha Tinh around midday on Sunday 10 September 2000, with winds gusting to gale force twelve, an accompanying storm surge and devastating whirlwinds. The storm passed quickly, leaving behind a trail of destruction. Ten districts were hit, with the districts of Thach Ha, Cam Xuyen and Ky Anh worst affected. Two people were killed and 13 injured, 75,000 hectares of rice crop destroyed. In addition, 810 houses were demolished and 4,000 others lost their roofs. The storm also damaged roads, electricity transmission lines in Ky Anh district and the sea dyke system in Thach Ha and Cam Xuyen districts.

Dak Lac Flash Floods

Whilst the storm was raging in Ha Tinh, flash floods caused targeted but substantial devastation in Dak Lac Province in the Central Highlands. Although the floods passed in a number of hours the proportionate devastation caused was immense. The flood waters destroyed homes and livelihoods, seriously affecting over 600 families: Many lost all their possessions and livelihoods were threatened due to the impact of the storm on rural production as small holdings of coffee and rice were severely affected. Some eight hundred homes were completely destroyed and damage to infrastructure, such as roads and bridges impeded recovery. In total, 5,863 homes were flooded, 615 homes completely swept away, and in one district alone, 50 coffee crops on small holdings were destroyed.

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