On June 3 2018, the Fuego volcano in southern Guatemala violently erupted and caused widespread destruction and loss of lives, as ash, lava and pyroclastic flow from the volcano covered the surrounding area. The situation was made worse with a second eruption of the same volcano on 5 June. To date 110 people are reported dead and 197 people remain missing, hundreds of homes were destroyed and 12,000 people were evacuated to safer locations. In total 1.7 people million people have been affected.
Since August 2017, new rounds of violence in the Rakhine State of Myanmar has led to large scale displacements that are still ongoing. At the moment, an estimated total of 915,000 people have fled from Rakhine to Cox’s Bazar of Bangladesh in search of safety and temporary shelter.
(Hong Kong, 10 May 2018) On 12 May 2008, an earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale struck Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, which damaged local area and provinces nearby seriously with over 10 million people affected. To respond to the huge needs of emergency relief and post-disaster recovery, the Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC) formulated a 10-year reconstruction and development plan after the disaster.
An earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale struck Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province on 12 May 2008, with over 10 million people affected and massive casualties and economic loss caused. Over 10 years, upon completion of all emergency relief operations and reconstruction programmes, the HKRC continues to support community recovery and disaster preparedness programmes in the affected areas to enhance the local capacity on emergency response and preparedness.
Overview of the HKRC operations from 2008 to 2018
On April 20th 2013, a huge 7-magnitude earthquake hit Lushan County of Ya’an Prefecture in Sichuan Province. The quake affected 111 counties across 18 prefectures, among which the most extensively damaged counties were Lushan, Tianquan, Baoxing, Shimian and Yingjing, causing more than 250,000 houses destroyed or collapsed, 196 people died, 21 missing and over 2 million people affected.
Population Movement: Six Months On
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been suffering from long term violence in part of the country, under development, poverty and food insecurity over the past years.
In 2016-2017, the violence in Kasai and Lomami provinces of DRC has been further intensified. An estimated 4.1 million people are currently displaced, making DRC a country with the highest number of internally displaced population (IDP) in Africa.
On 12 November 2017, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit Kermanshah province of Western Iran, along the border with Iraq. More than 569 people are reported dead and 9,000 people are injured. Over 427,000 people are affected with numerous houses are damaged. Almost a thousand of aftershocks in the following weeks made the relief operation difficult and the emergency relief phase is expected to last for months until 2018.
Red Cross Actions
Between 22 and 26 December 2017, tropical storm Tembin caused major damage to the Island of Mindanao in Southern Philippines. More than 170 people have been killed and 176 people are reported missing. Over 540,000 people in 23 provinces have been affected and 97,583 people are staying in 261 evacuation centers. Furthermore, tropical storm Tembin has substantially impacted shelter and livelihoods and caused damage to crops and critical infrastructure including roads, bridges and power transmission lines.
(Hong Kong, 22 September 2017) Bangladesh experienced several cyclones and floods this year, including cyclone “Mora” in May. Furthermore, owing to the violence in Rakhine State of Myanmar, a large number of people fled to Bangladesh’s border area Cox’s Bazar, adding burdens to the already suffering region. All these disasters and issues lead to shortage of resources and rising humanitarian needs. People are in urgent need for relief service and materials, including temporary shelters, food, water, sanitations, daily necessities, medical service and psychological support.
In late August, a new wave of conflict broke out in the Rakhine State of Myanmar which has led to an influx of people crossing the border. Over the last two weeks, more than 300,000 people have crossed into Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Together with the people who fled into the country since 2012, Bangladesh is now hosting about 500,000 people from Myanmar. Most of them are living in temporary shelters and in urgent needs of basic humanitarian assistance.
On 23 August 2017, Typhoon Hato swept through southern China, bringing high winds and heavy rainfall to Hong Kong, Macau, Guangdong, Guangxi, etc. Authorities in Macau reported that the typhoon killed 10 people and injured 244. In Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, the typhoon caused 11 deaths. One person was reported missing and 741,000 people were affected in total. More than 6,600 houses collapsed, with an economic loss of over RMB 12 billion.
Hong Kong Red Cross Actions
(Intercepted from Macau Daily) Vice President of the Macau Red Cross Central Council Chou Kuok Hei and Eliza Y L Cheung, representative of Hong Kong Red Cross, denoted that both regional Red Cross Societies have started their post-disaster psychological support, which includes hotline inquiries, home visits, and psychological counseling talks. When a psychological counseling is in session, volunteers from both places will be in attendance. The aim is to take good advantage of the Hong Kong professionals’ expertise, while pairing with Macau volunteers’ familiarity of local culture.