Viet Nam

Vietnam: Typhoon Damrey - Information Bulletin n° 2

The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 181 countries.
In Brief

This Bulletin (no. 02/2005) is being issued for information only, and reflects the status of the situation and information available at this time . The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

The Situation

According to the latest statistics, 58 people have died in Vietnam due to floods and landslides triggered by Typhoon Damrey which struck the country's coast on Tuesday, 27 September 2005. Although the coastal provinces sustained enormous damages to property and cropla nd, 54 of the typhoon-related deaths occurred in the country's northern mountainous provinces of Yen Bai, Lao Cai and Phu Tho, with the majority of those occurring in Yen Bai where the steep terrain created prime conditions for mudslides which swept away entire small villages In Yen Bai province's Van Chan district, 150 homes were washed away by rushing flood waters, with thousands more in the northern provinces were completely destroyed or seriously damaged. The typhoon, which caused substantial damage in China and the Philippines prior to striking Vietnam, also affected Thailand, killing seven people prior to making its way to Laos.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

Representatives from the Vietnam Red Cross (VNRC) and the International Federation took part in an interagency assessment mission to the affected coastal areas on Wednesday and Thursday. Given the substantial damage to houses -- over 10,000 homes in both the northern and coastal provinces -- VNRC is looking at the possibility of supporting the affected population by rebuilding and repair ing homes of selected beneficiaries damaged by the typhoon. Following the water damage to their crops and the consequent inability to harvest and/or plant, as well as the damage to shrimp farms, many of the subsistence farmers who were affected by the typhoon will be unable to earn enough money to pay for repairs to their homes. Many of Vietnam's rural population live in basic homes built with brick foundations and utilizing tin roofs which are not securely attached. As a result, these homes are not able to withstand typhoon-strength winds. Poorly constructed roofs being blown away by the winds was the most common damage to homes.

In the past 48 hours, since the typhoon struck, VNRC headquarters, and chapter staff and volunteers have provided the following services to the affected population:

- VNRC staff and volunteers helped to move vulnerable communities to safer areas, especially attending to the needs of children;

- The society contacted families, asking them to host evacuees;

- VNRC helped to reinforce the structure of wooden and bamboo shelters before the storm;

- Worked on strengthening dykes in areas where the typhoon could have caused more severe damages;

- Provided first aid and primary health care to the affected during and after the storm;

- Provided transport for injured people to hospitals;

- Distributed noodles to the affected population;

- Helped to repair damaged houses;

- Distributed 800 family packages valued at VND 250,000 (approximately USD 17) containing cooking sets, mosquito nets, blankets, gas stoves and noodles;

- Distributed VND 80 million (approximately USD 5,000) in cash to selected beneficiaries; and

- VNRC have planned to provide cash for funeral expenses to families who have lost relatives to Typhoon Damrey.

The VNRC management felt well prepared to cope with the disaster as a result of the previous efforts with the Federation and partner national societies through longer-term disaster management activities which allowed the society to act quickly before the typhoon struck, helping to reduce or avoid casualties. VNRC regards disaster management as a high priority and recognizes the tremendous value of the its disaster management programme in Vietnam.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Hanoi: Dr. Trinh Bang Hop, Head of International Relations and Development Department, Viet Nam Red Cross; email: vnrchq@netnam.org.vn; Phone: +84.4.822.4320; Fax: +84.4.942.4285

In Hanoi: Leopoldo Principe, Federation Representative, email: leopoldo.principe@ifrc.org; Phone: +84.4.942.2980 (ext. 216); Fax: +84.4.942.2987

In Bangkok: Bekele Geleta, Head of Regional Delegation; email: bekele.geleta@ifrc.org; Phone: +66.2.640.8211; Fax: +66.2.640.8220

In Geneva: Charles Evans or Sabine Feuglet, Southeast Asia Desk, Asia Pacific Department; email: charles.evans@ifrc.org or sabine.feuglet@ifrc.org; Phone: +41.22.730.4320/4349; Fax: +41.22.733.0395

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org

MAP: Viet Nam: Typhoon Damrey - Situation map