Vietnam - Floods
OCHA Situation Report No. 2
10 December 1999
Central coastal provinces in Vietnam have suffered two terrible floods in one month. The torrential rainstorms of 18 October to 4 November which flooded several major rivers in Quang Binh to Binh Dinh, have caused havoc in the provinces concerned. Mean rainfall over the period reached 1,384 mm in Hue City, in the worst affected province of Thua Thien Hue. At the height of the storm, known as Eve or Storm Number Nine, alarm level III (highly destructive) flood conditions prevailed and flood water levels in some rivers surpassed any recorded in the past.
One month after the worst floods Vietnam has experienced this century, new, extensive floods have been an additional blow to the same region. This second bout of flood occurred just as relief and rehabilitation measures were being undertaken in order to help stabilize the lives of the people affected by the previous floods.
According to the update issued by the Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control (CCFSC) on 8 December, the new floods caused by heavy rainfall from 1 to 6 December once again attained historical water levels in some rivers in the central provinces from Thua Thien Hue to Khanh Hoa, unsurpassed in the last 40 years. Quang Ngai and Quang Nam are the two most seriously affected provinces; here rainfall averaged as much as 2,000 mm and caused destructive inundation. On 7 December the rainfall diminished and floodwater levels in all the rivers of the central provinces have been receding. According to the Hydro-Meteorological Service forecast, floodwater levels in the rivers flowing through Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh will remain at alarm level III, while rivers in the other provinces will remain at alarm level II or below.
Over the next 24 hours, another tropical depression will move west and west-south-west from the Truong Sa Islands, at a speed of 10 km per hour. This tropical depression, combined with packed east winds, will most likely bring medium-to-heavy rains over the mid-central, southern central, and southern central highlands provinces. As from this evening it is therefore expected that tonight and tomorrow morning (11 December 1999) flood water levels on rivers in the provinces from Thua Thien-Hue to Binh Thuan will rise.
Further information can be obtained from the UN-Disaster Management Unit website: http://www.undp.org.vn/dmu.
At 16:00 hrs on 8 December, UNDP figures available to UNDP Hanoi related the following damages:
423,653 flooded and damaged
|Paddy crops destroyed||
VND 736 billion (USD 53 mil.)
VND 3,300 billion (USD 237 mil.)
3. National response to the early December floods
According to the CCFSC report, Quang Ngai has received 194 tons of instant noodles and 2,000 lifeboats and Quang Nam has received 80 tons of instant noodles and 2,000 lifeboats. Both provinces have requested the Government to send more goods and materials in the interest of sustaining life and production.
The Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Police, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Transport and Communication and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have been implementing life-sustaining and production recovery measures under the guidance of the Government.
The People's Committee of Quang Ngai province issued a preliminary report on the most recent floods on 7 December. In the report, the province requests 200 tons of instant noodles, 150,000 raincoats, 200,000 sets of clothing, 40 canoes, water purification powder, medicine to control epidemic disease, and sheeting and canvas. 83 tons of rice seeds are also needed by rural communities in flood-stricken areas, to cover the 1999-2000 spring-winter cultivation season.
5. International response to the October, November and December floods
On 7 December the Prime Minister issued an official telegram which expressed his sincere thanks to domestic and overseas people, central and local institutions, foreign Governments, international organizations, and international NGOs for once again mobilizing cash and relief goods to assist the affected people in the afflicted central provinces. This implied a reiteration of the initial Government appeal for international assistance issued on 9 November in the wake of the previous floods.
On 10 December 1999, the IFRC launched a revised appeal for an amount of CHF 7,433,000 (USD 4,674,842) to provide 258,000 households with household kits, food items and shelter materials. This appeal is an update of the appeal issued on 25 November 1999.
The United Nations Disaster Management Team (UN-DMT) has been convening regular meetings since the occurrence of the first floods, for the purpose of coordinating relief activities undertaken by the UN-System. On 8 December the sixth UN-DMT meeting was convened in Hanoi with participants from UNDP, WFP, WHO, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNFPA, FAO, IFRC and CCFSC. The purpose of the meeting was to share the latest information about the floods and to keep track of Government and donor activities in response to both the November and December floods. It was reported that the affected people were distressed because rice and vegetable seeds provided to counter November flood damage had in many cases been decimated and were in very short supply. The planting season will be over in a week or two. During the meeting UN agencies also discussed long term measures; the Deputy Prime Minister called upon donors to incorporate disaster preparedness and mitigation assistance in their programmes. Next week an annual Consultative Group meeting with the World Bank, UN agencies and other donors will be held in Hanoi to discuss this agenda.
Besides the sum of USD 210,000 in emergency relief funding for the previous floods, UNICEF has committed an additional USD 60,000 to flood relief in Vietnam. WFP has procured 850 tons of rice and will assist VNRC/IFRC in allocating food at household level. FAO has prepared emergency relief packages including rice seeds and fertilizer with USD 400,000 for flood victims in Quang Tri, and UNDP will provide USD 25, 000 to transport these items to affected communities. UNHCR has pledged USD 25,000 for emergency relief.
6. International Contributions Table
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 (http://www.reliefweb.int). 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.
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.
Donors are requested to notify OCHA Geneva of any contributions to this disaster using the "OCHA Standardized Contributions Recording Format", available electronically in the Financial Tracking Website: http://www.reliefweb.int
This situation report and further information on ongoing emergencies are also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int
Telephone number: +41-22-917 12 34
In case of emergency: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10
Desk Officers: Ms. S. Metzner-Strack/Mr. R. Mueller/Mr. S. Matsuka, OCHA Disaster Response Branch, direct Tel. +41-22-917 21 44 / 31 31 / 40 34
Press contact: Ms. E. Ponomareva, direct Tel. +41-22-917 23 36
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
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