Ethiopia: Two million animals have been lost to a “devastating” drought, says UNFAO – Published 13 Aug 2017 1245z (GMT/UTC)

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said that two million animals have been lost to a “devastating” drought in Ethiopia.

Healthy animals = elimination of hunger = healthy people = sustainable food production. – FAO

The UN agriculture agency said that the drought had devastated herders’ livelihoods as it exhausted pastures and water sources.

(Image: UNFAO)

It said the current food and nutrition crisis was significantly aggravated by the severe blow to pastoral livelihoods. “For livestock-dependent families, the animals can literally mean the difference between life and death – especially for children, pregnant and nursing mothers, for whom milk is a crucial source of nutrition.

“With up to two million animals lost so far, FAO is focusing on providing emergency livestock support to the most vulnerable pastoralist communities through animal vaccination and treatment, supplementary feed and water, rehabilitating water points, and supporting fodder and feed production”. FAO stressed that supporting the herders to get back on their feet and prevent further livestock losses was crucial in the Horn of Africa country, where hunger had been on the rise. “The drought has led to a significant number of animals dying or falling ill, particularly in the southern and south-eastern regions of the country, as other areas recover from previous seasons’ El Niño-induced drought,” the UN agency warned. It also said that drought-hit pastoralists were facing reduced milk production, rising malnutrition, and had limited income-earning capacity and severely constrained access to food. Abdoul Bah, FAO deputy representative in Ethiopia, said “some 8.5 million people – one in 12 people – are now suffering from hunger; of these, 3.3 million people live in Somali Region. “It is crucial to provide this support between now and October – when rains are due – to begin the recovery process and prevent further losses of animals. If we don’t act now, hunger and malnutrition will only get worse among pastoral communities.” According to Bah, by providing supplementary feed and water for livestock, while simultaneously supporting fodder production, FAO seeks to protect core breeding animals and enable drought-hit families to rebuild their livelihoods. In addition to FAO-supported destocking and cash-for-work programmes to provide cash for families, he said animal health campaigns would be reinforced to protect animals, particularly before the rain sets in – when they are at their weakest and more susceptible to parasites or infectious diseases. Bah said FAO urgently required $20 million between August and December to come to the aid of Ethiopia’s farmers and herders. “FAO has already assisted almost 500,000 drought-hit people in 2017 through a mix of livestock feed provision, de-stocking and animal health interventions,” he said. The support was courtesy of the Ethiopia humanitarian fund, Switzerland, Spain and Sweden through FAO’s special fund for emergency and rehabilitation activities, the UN central emergency response fund, as well as FAO’s own early warning early action (EWEA) fund and technical cooperation programme.

RSOE August 12 2017 01:23 PM (UTC).

Urgent support is needed in drought-stricken Ethiopia – @FAOemergencies

Do not use any information on this site for life or death decisions. All information is intended as supplementary to official sources. Kindly refer to your country’s official weather agency/government website for local warnings, advisories and bulletins.


Afghanistan: 9 MSF staff killed, 37 people injured (19 were staff) in hospital US airstrike in Kunduz – Published 03 Oct 2015 1000z (GMT/UTC)

UPDATED 03 Oct 2015 10:55 GMT

Air strike kills MSF medical staff in Afghanistan

Nine Doctors Without Borders staff killed in bombing of hospital in Kunduz, as NATO admits it may have been involved.

Surviving MSF staff were in shock after the clinic in Kunduz sustained heavy damage in the bombardment [MSF/Al Jazeera]

Surviving MSF staff were in shock after the clinic in Kunduz sustained heavy damage in the bombardment [MSF/Al Jazeera]

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says at least nine of its staff have been killed in an overnight bombing of a hospital in the embattled Afghan city of Kunduz.

Another 37 people were wounded in the attack, including 19 MSF staff, the medical charity organisation told Al Jazeera.

NATO said on Friday that a US air strike “may have” hit the hospital, which is run by the medical charity, adding that the attack may have resulted in collateral damage.

An MSF spokesperson told Al Jazeera that the death toll is likely to rise, as the “fluid situation at the clinic hampered information gathering.

“The bombing struck the dormitories of the hospital, which explains why we – so far – have only seen deaths among our staff and not among patients,” MSF spokesperson Dalila Mahdawi said.

The MSF hospital is seen as a key medical lifeline in the region, which has been running “beyond capacity” in recent days of fighting which saw the Taliban seize control of the provincial capital for several days.

“At 2:10 am (20:40 GMT) local time … the MSF trauma centre in Kunduz was hit several times during sustained bombing and was very badly damaged,” MSF said in a statement on Friday.

At the time of the bombing, 105 patients and their caretakers and more than 80 MSF international and national staff were present in the hospital, the charity said.

NATO investigation

NATO said in a statement that US forces conducted an air strike in Kunduz at 2:15am local time “against individuals threatening the force”.

“The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility. This incident is under investigation,” the statement said.

MSF said it gave the coordinates of the hospital to Afghan and US forces several times to avoid being caught in crossfire.

“As MSF does in all conflict contexts, these precise locations were communicated to all parties on multiple occasions over the past months, including most recently on 29 September,” according to MSF Afghanistan representatives.

The bombing reportedly continued for more than 30 minutes after US and Afghan military offices in Kabul and Washington were first informed.

Residents tell of suffering as battle for Kunduz rages

“MSF urgently seeks clarity on exactly what took place and how this terrible event could have happened,” MSF said.

The MSF trauma centre in Kunduz is the only medical facility in the region that can deal with major injuries.

Following the attack, the medical charity urged all parties involved in the violence to respect the safety of health facilities, patients and staff.

Speaking to Al Jazeera after the attack, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said that no Taliban fighters were present in the hospital at the time of the air strike.

“We condemn the bombing on the hospital. It was an attack carried out on innocent people.” Zabiullah told Al Jazeera.

“Our mujahedeen (fighters) were not treated at the MSF trauma center due to prevailing military conditions. Such attacks by the US forces have taken place in Afghanistan for years now. This very attack has once again exposed the ruthless colors of the invaders to the Afghans,” he added.

MSF’s hospital is the only facility of its kind in the whole north-eastern region of Afghanistan [MSF]

However, Sediq Sediqqi, an Afghan interior ministry spokesperson, claimed the fighters were attacking security forces with gunfire and grenades from an area near the hospital.

“According to our information, the Taliban were hiding in the hospital building and the area around it while attacking the forces,” Sediqqi said.

“We are assessing and evaluating the collateral damage to the medical facility. However, in any case, the safety of the civilians comes first,” he added.

A caretaker at the hospital, who was severely injured in the air strike, told Al Jazeera that clinic’s medical staff did not favour any side the conflict.

“We are here to help and treat civilians,” Abdul Manar said.

“Several women and children are also killed in the strike. I could hear them screaming for help inside the hospital while it was set ablaze by the bombing. We are terrified and speechless.”

Battle for Kunduz

The development came a day after the Afghan government claimed it had successfully retaken parts of Kunduz from Taliban fighters who had controlled the strategic city since Monday.

The Taliban, however, claimed it remained in control of most of Kunduz, our correspondent said.

Kunduz is facing a humanitarian crisis, with thousands of civilians caught in the crossfire between government forces and Taliban fighters.

Precise losses in the fighting were not known, but health authorities said on Friday that at least 60 people have been killed and 400 wounded.

As fighting spreads in neighbouring Badakhshan, Takhar and Baghlan provinces, concerns are mounting that the seizure of Kunduz was merely the opening gambit in a new, bolder Taliban strategy to tighten the grip across northern Afghanistan.

Afghan forces, backed by NATO special forces and US air strikes, have been going from house to house in Kunduz in a bid to flush Taliban fighters out of the city.

Al Jazeera’s Qais Azimy, reporting from Puli Khumri, about 130km from Kunduz, said heavy fighting was ongoing in the centre of Kunduz.

“Sources inside the city are reporting heavy clashes between the Taliban and the Afghan army. There is no set frontline between the two sides so the fighting is from street to street at the moment.

“People inside the city are suffering. There is a shortage of food, water and electricity,” our correspondent said.

The Taliban’s offensive in Kunduz, their biggest tactical success since 2001, marks a major blow for Afghanistan’s Western-trained forces, who have largely been fighting on their own since last December.

Civilian and military casualties caused by NATO forces have been one of the most contentious issues in the 14-year campaign against the Taliban, provoking harsh public and government criticism.

US-led NATO forces ended their combat mission in Afghanistan last December, though a 13,000-strong residual force remains for training and counterterrorism operations.

But there has been an escalation in air strikes by NATO forces in recent months despite the drawdown.

Additional reporting by Shereena Qazi. Follow her on Twitter @ShereenaQazi

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

Sudan: Emergency aid call after flash flood in Kalma refugee camp, South Darfur kills at least 36 (including 9 children) Hundreds of houses destroyed – 120813 1620z

A flash flood that swept through Kalma camp for displaced persons in South Darfur in Saturday night has reportedly killed 36 people, including nine children. Elsewhere in the region, floods and disease have killed three children and at least two adults, while wreaking extensive destruction to homes and property.

The spokesman for the Association of Displaced Persons and Refugees of Darfur, Hussein Abu Sharati, told Radio Dabanga that in addition to the dead and wounded in Kalma camp, the flood completely destroyed 1,567 houses.
He appealed to humanitarian organisations “to expedite emergency assistance in the form of tarpaulins and tents to the displaced who are now living in pools of stagnant water”, he said.

A sheikh of the camps in Saraf Omra in North Darfur reported to Radio Dabanga that three children have died “due to, disease, fever and diarrhoea”.
He said that Saturday’s rains led to the destruction of about 2,000 homes in the camps, as well as demolishing several sanitary facilities. “Dozens of families are still in the open without shelter, food or medicines,” he said, also appealing to humanitarian organisations for urgent assistance.
Another person died in Malah locality in North Darfur. Sheikh Adam Amin told Radio Dabanga that Idris Mahmoud Gulab perished on Saturday and flash floods destroyed about 60 houses in Malah.
He told Radio Dabanga that heavy rains caused damage to five schools, a hospital and the salt works Malha, as well as three schools in the village of Marega, and the Um Ajaja agricultural project. Amin said that the water swept Gulab away in one of the valleys in the region and his body was only found on Sunday.
Monday, 12 August, 2013 at 03:53 (03:53 AM) UTC RSOE

Other Reports

Sudan: UN and Partners Coordinate Aid for 150,000 People Affected By Flooding

United Nations agencies and humanitarian partners are coordinating closely with the Government of Sudan to assist close to 150,000 people get food, water and shelter following heavy rains that began early this month.

“More rains are expected in the coming days and the estimated number of affected people is likely to rise further as rains continue and as more information becomes available,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

At least 26,000 houses have been damaged or destroyed, OCHA said, noting initial estimates of the damage in the eight affected states.

The UN and its partners have provided a range of emergency relief items, including tents, plastic sheeting, blankets, water cans, buckets and mosquito nets from its emergency stockpiles in Khartoum state. They also provided mobile clinics, drinking water, and sanitation services.

“Other emergency support is currently being mobilized, particularly food, shelter, water, sanitation, hygiene and health services,” OCHA said.

Over 150,000 people have already been affected by the flooding, according to the Sudanese Red Crescent Society, the Khartoum State Commission for Voluntary and Humanitarian Work, the Government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), among other sources.

OCHA stressed that the UN and its partners remain committed to assisting flood-affected communities and supporting the Government’s relief efforts throughout the country



Floods leave more than dozen dead in Sudan

(Video credit: Financial Times English)

Published on Aug 11, 2013

Floods in Sudan have killed at least 15 people in the past two weeks and left almost 100,000 more homeless, officials said. More than 20,000 houses have been destroyed or badly damaged after heavy rains pounded suburbs of the capital Khartoum.Al Jazeera’s Dominic Kane reports.

Kalma, Sudan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kalma is a relocation camp in the Darfur region of Sudan. It is located 17 kilometers outside of Nyala, Sudan.[1] It is estimated that there are over 90,000 residents in the camp. [2] Most if not all the residents are there because of the violence caused by the Darfur conflict.

Map of Dafur

File:Map of Darfur 2011.png

Angola: Approx 300,000 people at risk of malnutrition due to 2 year long drought – 100513 2100z set up an emergency plan on Thursday for the southern province of Cunene, where an estimated 300 000 people are at risk of malnutrition because of a two-year-long drought.

“The plan seeks to immediately provide medical assistance, food and drinking water for the most needy populations,” the cabinet’s economic commission said in a statement. Cunene, a semi-arid province which shares a border with Namibia to the south, depends largely on subsistence farming and cattle-raising.

Provincial governor Antonio Didalelwa was cited by state-owned newspaper Jornal de Angola as saying more than 300 000 people, or approximately the entire known population of the province, are at risk of malnutrition.

“We are worried about the situation. There is a lack of food and water for people and cattle,” he said. “The people in the province are going through very tough times because it hasn’t rained for two years and that is harming families, who depend on agriculture and cattle-raising.” Angola, which is roughly twice the size of Texas, suffered heavily from drought last year.
Friday, 10 May, 2013 at 09:10 (09:10 AM) UTC RSOE

Other Reports

“Lisbon –

The United Nations Children Fund (Unicef) said that 1.8 million people were affected by a prolonged drought in 2012, including more than 500 000 children.

The UN agency said it has been working closely with the government to ensure the drought does not result in malnutrition.

Angola is Africa’s second-largest oil producer, after Nigeria, but is still recovering from a 27-year that ended 11 years ago and which devastated most of its infrastructure.

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has been in power since 1979, has promised to improve social conditions and better distribute Angola’s oil wealth during a new five-year term he secured in an election last year.

His government said on Thursday it would use budget funds to minimise consequences of natural disasters in Cunene.”

Syria: Hepatitis A and other poor hygiene disease spread aggravated by lack of safe water, health service meltdown problem for refugees, says WHO – 060213 1230z

Outbreaks of hepatitis A and other diseases spread by poor hygiene are now becoming problems among Syrians displaced by the civil war, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

(Photo: Syrian refugees

It is one of at least four United Nations agencies seeking to add a new sense of urgency to the humanitarian crisis afflicting the country.

Further aggravating the health of Syrians, the organization said, is a breakdown in the delivery of safe water throughout the country; the closing of at least one-third of Syria’s public hospitals; an exodus of doctors; and an acute shortage of ambulances, many of them damaged by fighting or impounded by the military or insurgent forces for use in combat.

The warning was delivered in a telephone briefing by Elizabeth Hoff, the health organization’s representative in Damascus, the Syrian capital.

It came a day after another United Nations organization, Unicef, announced an ambitious program to provide chlorination supplies to treat water for more than 10 million people in Syria, about half the population – another indication of the magnitude of the water problem.

The spread of hepatitis A, a serious and highly contagious liver disease, can be prevented with a vaccine. The virus is spread by close personal contact and sharing food and drinking water. Ms. Hoff and other officials said the problem was the worst in the crowded communal shelters for people displaced by the conflict.

A third United Nations agency, the World Food Program, announced at a news conference in Beirut, Lebanon, that it was accelerating food delivery to as many as 2.5 million people in government- and rebel-held areas of Syria.

But the agency acknowledged that its ability to distribute the food was becoming increasingly tenuous.

“There is a security issue,” Etienne Labonde, an agency representative, told reporters in Beirut.

“We have to protect our staff on the ground, but the team in Syria is doing everything it can to deliver aid to all areas. Of course, there will always be pockets they can’t reach.”

The developments came as the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the agency that manages the administering of aid in Syria, warned that “the catastrophic humanitarian situation continues to deepen,” and that violence threatened to increase the number of Syrians dependent on international aid.

Wednesday, 06 February, 2013 at 04:21 (04:21 AM) UTC RSOE

#Philippines: Disease alert as #flood toll jumps to 85, tropical depression #HELEN concern – Updated 12 Aug 2012 1337 GMT/UTC

At least 19 killed in Philippines Floods

Thursday, 09 August, 2012 at 07:11 UTC RSOE (NB: Newer updates below)

Ten cities and municipalities in Metro Manila and six provinces in Luzon have been placed under a state of calamity due to massive flooding caused by four days of non-stop monsoon rains.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that areas in Metro Manila that have been placed under a state of calamity were Marikina, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Muntinlupa, San Juan, Pasig, Pasay, Caloocan and Pateros.

In Central Luzon, the provinces of Bataan, Pampanga, Zambales and Bulacan as well as Laguna and Palawan provinces in Southern Luzon have also been placed under a state of calamity. Quezon City, which has the most number of families affected by floods, has yet to make a calamity declaration.

There are a total of 72,468 people affected by flooding in the city and majority of them or a total of 72,264 are staying in 57 evacuation centers. Quezon City and Marikina City have been hit by greater volume of torrential rains since Sunday night.

A massive evacuation has been ordered in Marikina City due to the overflowing of the Marikina River. A total of 246,808 people have been affected in 17 areas in Metro Manila.

The other regions affected by the monsoon rains were Ilocos, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa and Western Visayas.

The NDRRMC said that a total of 454,093 families or nearly two million people in Metro Manila and the five other regions are affected by floods caused by the monsoon rains.

It has also confirmed 19 fatalities, nine of which died in a landslide in Quezon City and eight died from drowning. Flooding in Quezon City and other areas in Luzon were expected to continue due to the overflowing of major dams including La Mesa, Angat and San Roque. The water reserve in Ipo, Ambuklao and Binga dams are near spilling levels.

BE READY FOR BAD WEATHER and other emergencies – Advice and resources

Philippines Red Cross Lifeline Kit

Death toll from Philippines floods rises to 66
Saturday August 11, 2012 – 13:46 EST

The death toll from torrential rains that submerged most of the Philippines capital Manila has risen to 66.

  Al Jazeera’s Marga Ortigas reports from Manila, many of those who were forced out of their homes are now trying to return.

Nearly two weeks of monsoon rains across the Philippines’ main island of Luzon peaked with a 48-hour deluge earlier this week that battered Manila and surrounding regions.

The extra deaths occurred mainly in the provinces during the initial rain from Monday to Wednesday, but government officials in the outlying areas could not immediately report the casualties to Manila headquarters.

Ten people remain missing as the floods, which submerged 80 per cent of Manila earlier in the week, have largely subsided.

Radio Australia’s reporter in Manila, Shirley Escalante, says the massive clean up has begun.

“As floodwaters recede, tonnes of garbage has been left behind littering roads, parks and drains in the capital Manila and surrounding provinces,” Ms Escalante said.

Health officials are warning diseases like leptospirosis and diarrhea could spread easily.

Ms Escalante says authorities have price controlled basic food items like bread, noodles and canned goods, to ensure there’s enough to go around.

Relief effort

But the government says it’s struggling to cope with the scale of the relief effort which is expected to last for weeks.

Tens of thousands of people are continuing to stream into evacuation centres that are already overcrowded and unable to provide enough immediate relief goods.

The Social Welfare Secretary, Corazon Soliman, says local government units are being overwhelmed.

“We have evacuation centres that are congested, that is the whole problem,” she said.

More than 362,000 people were sheltering in evacuation centres on Friday, nearly 50,000 more than on Thursday.

Farmland inundated

Water remains waist-deep across a large part of a vital rice growing region to the north of Manila.

“We need something to eat. I haven’t gone to work or been paid for a week,” said Rogelio Soco, a construction worker and father-of-three in a small farming town outside Manila.

Mr Soco says the floods were the worst the area had seen since a huge typhoon struck in the early 1970s.

Other locals also say they haven’t experienced anything like it for decades.

Around the town of Apalit, formerly green rice paddies have been turned into an ocean of brown water.

‘Inadequate response’

Local non-government organisation Transform Asia has labelled the government’s response inadequate.

“The response really is not good enough,” the group’s chairwoman Reihana Mohideen told Radio Australia’s .

“For example, there are water pumping stations in the area that I went to. They pump out 15,000 litres of water a day and they were completely overwhelmed. They did not have the capacity to deal with the amount of water.”

She said many victims had been living in squatter colonies without proper drainage systems.

“The devastation that you travel through to get to these centres of flooded huts – this is the face of poverty,” she said.

“Housing is inadequate. There’re no proper drainage systems. The roads get flooded so quickly, and you don’t have water catchment to catch and store this water. There’s inadequate power supply.”

Her comments were echoed by urban planner Nathaniel Einseidel, who said the Philippines had enough technical know-how, and access to financing, to solve the ongoing flood problems.

“It’s a lack of appreciation for the benefits of long-term plans. It’s a vicious cycle when the planning, the policies and enforcement are not very well synchronised,” said Mr Einseidel, who was Manila’s planning chief from 1979-89.

“I haven’t heard of a local government, a town or city that has a comprehensive drainage masterplan.”

This week’s rains were the worst to hit Manila since Tropical Storm Ketsana killed 464 people in 2009.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje warned that the Philippines must prepare for more intense rains caused by climate change, describing the latest deluge as the “new normal”.

– ABC (via

Meanwhile AFP says

 Philippine authorities scrambled to provide food and other emergency provisions Saturday to more than two million people affected by widespread flooding, as the death toll rose to 66, officials said.

The flooding that submerged 80 percent of Manila early in the week has largely subsided, allowing people to return to their homes, but more than 100 low-lying towns and cities to the north remain under water.

Civil defence chief Benito Ramos said the huge displaced population, including 441,000 people crammed in crowded evacuation camps, would need to be fed and taken care of for at least another seven days.

“The bulk of our operations involves relief, but also clean-up,” Ramos told AFP.

“Volunteers are packaging 100,000 food packs for immediate distribution.”

The government’s disaster co-ordination council said it was serving nearly 758,000 people displaced by floods on Saturday, significantly more than the previous day as tens of thousands trickled into evacuation centres overnight.

But with 2.68 million people affected, up from 2.44 million on Friday, many are having to fend for themselves.

In Calumpit, a farming town about 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Manila, unmarried construction worker Ronaldo Cruz stepped out of his house, stuck in waist-deep floods, to ask for food from better-off neighbours and relatives.

“We’ve been waiting for relief aid, but none has arrived,”

said the 32-year-old, who lives with seven other relatives.

“Perhaps there isn’t enough to go around,” he told AFP.

With evacuation centres packed to capacity and houses inundated by flood water, many residents of Calumpit are forced to live on their rooftops.

The UN World Food Programme said it was providing 52.5 tonnes of high-energy biscuits and hiring trucks to help the government transport other relief supplies.

“WFP is saddened by the humanitarian impact of the non-stop rains over the last week in the Philippines,” its country chief Stephen Anderson said in a statement.

The UN body said it also plans to distribute supplementary food to about 77,000 children in the flooded areas.

The government said Saturday that 66 people had been confirmed killed, up from 60 on Friday.

The Philippines endures about 20 major storms or typhoons each rainy season. But this week’s rains were the worst to hit Manila since Tropical Storm Ketsana killed 464 people in 2009. – Reliefweb

Youtuber “I rode the yellow dump truck from my place to the supermarket. The usual 10-minute ride took 45 minutes because vehicles are carefully treading the flood at 5 kph. LOL! The flood is still widespread in Sandoval Ave., Pasig City.”

See here how people go about their daily lives like one person here making the gas delivery with his motorbike.

12 Aug 2012:

MANILA (AFP) – Emergency relief officials and doctors deployed to flood devastated communities in the Philippines on Sunday to prevent outbreaks of disease as the death toll jumped to 85.

The flooding that submerged 80 per cent of Manila early in the week has largely subsided but more than 150 towns and cities around the capital remain under water, affecting more than three million people.

Amid the ongoing relief operation, the weather bureau warned of a low pressure area developing some 850km to the east in the Pacific Ocean that could turn into a storm and bring more rain.

Many provinces around Manila remained inundated as overflowing dams continued to release water, the national disaster coordinating agency said. Relief workers were dealing with “clogged pipelines and trash everywhere. Sanitation has emerged as a key problem,” Red Cross secretary general Gwendolyn Pang told AFP.


dost_pagasa (Philippines Weather Bureau):

At 5:00PM (PhT) 08/12/12 The active LPA East of Northern Luzon has developed into Tropical Depression #HELEN

At 4:00pm today (PhT) the center of TD “HELEN” was estimated based on satellite and surface data at 750 km E of Casiguran, Aurora (16.7°N 130.2°E). Maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near the center. It is forecast to move West Northwest at 11 kph.

Estimated rainfall amount is from 10 – 20 mm per hour (heavy – intense) within the 350 km diameter of the Tropical Depression #HELEN

As of 7:00PM, the center of Tropical Depression #Helen was estimated at 720KM East of Casiguran, Aurora (16.8°N 129.9°E)

TD #HELEN is expected to enhance the HABAGAT that will bring rains over Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao especially the Western section.

As of 6:00PM (PhT), the center of Tropical Depression Helen was est. at 740KM East of Casiguran, Aurora (16.7N, 130.0E).

As of 7:00PM (PhT), the center of Tropical Depression #Helen was estimated at 720KM East of Casiguran, Aurora (16.8°N 129.9°E).

Severe Weather Bulletin No. 1 Issued at: 5:00 p.m (PhT)., 12 August 2012

Philippines President Aquino assures Tarlac flood victims of help

By Joelyn G. Baluyut (reliefweb)

TARLAC CITY, Tarlac, Aug11 (PIA) — President Aquino assured monsoon flood victims in his home province of Tarlac that government will help in their recovery.

Speaking before residents in Barangay Apulid in Paniqui town Friday, the Chief Executive said he admires the resiliency of the residents to immediately rise from the tragedy. He added that such trait is a positive sign of brighter things ahead.

Aquino distributed relief goods in the village and in Barangay Sta. Lucia in Capas town together with secretaries of Social Welfare Dinky Soliman, Energy Jose Almendras, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Joel Villanueva, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning (PCSDO) Ramon Carandang, Aurora representative Sonny Angara, and former party-list representative Risa Hontiveros.

In an interview, one of the evacuees in Brgy. Apulid, Elena Salcedo, 79, said, “This is even worse than typhoons Pedring and Quiel, I was scared but with the President here I am very thankful because he had seen what our current situation is and it brings me hope that soon we’ll be back to our normal lives.”

Meanwhile, Paniqui Mayor Dors Rivilla said, “evacuees will be probably be staying in the evacuation centers for three to four days until the rain stops to ensure their safety.”

In the municipal level, we are doing our best to avert such a situation again and we are asking government to assist. Our area is a catch basin, the mayor explained.

He also cited the construction of P16 billion Balog-Balog Irrigation Multipurpose Project (BBIMP), a megadam in the western part of Tarlac which will help in the mitigation of flooding in low-lying areas of the province.

The Department of Agriculture explained that the project would irrigate about 39,150 hectares of farmlands in the municipalities of Concepcion, Gerona, Pura, Ramos, Paniqui, La Paz, Victoria, and Tarlac City.

A total of 250 and 200 packs were distributed by the DSWD-3 to barangays Apulid and Sta. Lucia evacuation centers. A pack is composed of three kilos of rice, six assorted canned goods, six noodles, and coffee.

Based on Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) figures, there are now 619 affected families or 2,291 individuals and 1,1864 families or 9,169 individuals covering Paniqui and Capas towns respectively. (CLJD/JGB-PIA 3)

Red Cross steps up rescue and relief operations for flood-stricken families

The Philippine Red Cross has stepped up its rescue and relief operations for flood-stricken families rescuing a total of 7,525 persons and assisting in the evacuation of more than 200,000 individuals with the help of Red Cross 143 volunteers. Persons rescued were from Valenzuela, Rizal, Caloocan, Manila and other affected areas.

The Quezon City Red Cross assisted in the search and rescue of the victims of the landslides in Commonwealth where three persons were given first aid and transported to nearby hospital.

The Red Cross as well has provided hot meals to more than 191,344 persons in various evacuation centers.

PRC Chairman Richard Gordon has directed Red Cross to deploy all life-saving equipment such as amphibian, rubber boats, ambulances and trucks and intensify further its rescue and relief operations to assist more people, especially in worst hit areas.

Gordon will personally hand over relief goods to the University of Sto Tomas Hospital, Epifanio Delos Santos Hospital and University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Hospital for distribution to patients, crew and staff. The PRC Chair will also discuss partnership with hospital officials for better medical and health services to people in distress.

Earlier, the Red Cross has provided generator to Epifanio delos Santos Hospital and assisted as well in providing fuel for the generator of the UERM Hospital.

PRC Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang said more relief operations and hygiene promotion will be conducted in some of the 566 evacuation centers where 49,220 families are still sheltered. The Red Cross will also set up welfare desks in the evacuation centers to provide psychosocial support and other welfare needs of the affected families.

Pang said, the Red Cross will also conduct quick assessment of the situation and furthers needs of the affected families in Metro Manila and other flooded areas.

The Red Cross will continue to work round the clock with more areas still under water.

Red Cross in full action responding to floods

The Philippine Red Cross is responding around the clock to the worsening flood situation in Metro Manila and nearby provinces triggered by continuous southwest monsoon rains, prompting hundreds of families to evacuate to higher grounds.

The Red Cross Emergency Response Teams have so far rescued a total of 250 persons in various flood-stricken areas in Valenzuela, Rizal and Quezon City.

The Red Cross life-saving vehicles including its amphibian, rubber boats, 6 X 6 trucks and ambulances are on full swing surveying flooded areas and assisting in rescue operation and evacuation of families trapped by rising flood water.

PRC Chairman Richard Gordon has directed all chapters and Red Cross 143 volunteers to remain vigilant in responding to the situation and ensure the safety of the affected families.

More than 6,000 persons were served with hot meals and another 2,000 more were provided with food items in 63 evacuation centers that were visited so far, by Red Cross response teams, according to PRC Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang.

Pang also said the Red Cross is now preparing more relief aid for immediate distribution to affected families.

The PRC medical and social worker teams are now on alert for deployment to evacuation areas to ensure the health and well-being of the flood-stricken population, particularly the most vulnerable group.

The PRC Blood services are also on stand by to ensure that blood requirements are met anytime the need arises.

PRC is coordinating closely with MMDA, local government units and other concerned agencies to do more, do better and reach further to affected families.

Twitter updates on the Red Cross response to flooding:

IFRC news bulletin (pdf download)

The PRC welcomes donations in cash for flood-affected families. You may send or deposit your donations to the following:

Banco De Oro
Peso: 00-453-0018647
Dollar: 10-453-0039482

Peso: 151-3-041631228
Dollar: 151-2-15100218-2

Philippine National Bank
Peso: 3752 8350 0034
Dollar: 3752 8350 0042

Unionbank of the Philippines
Peso: 1015 4000 0201
Dollar: 1315 4000 0090

All Check/Cash for the account of Philippine Red Cross (Swift Codes)
Banco De Oro

Bank of the Philippine Islands


Philippine National Bank

Unionbank of the Philippines

For your donations to be properly acknowledged, please fax the bank transaction slip at nos. +63.2.527.0575 or +63.2.404.0979 with your name, address and contact number.

SMS and G-Cash

Text RED<space>AMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) or 4143 (Smart)

Text DONATE<space>AMOUNT<space>4-digit M-PIN<space>REDCROSS to 2882

You can donate the following denominations:
Globe: 5, 25, 100, 300, 500 or 1000
Smart: 10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 or 1000.


Philippine floods: Stranded using Twitter for help (BBC News 8 August 2012)

TROPICAL DEPRESSION #HELEN – Published 12 Aug 2012 1350 GMT/UTC

27 killed, 45 homes destroyed, 150 damaged, in Flash Flood in Afghanistan – Governor appeals for aid

A flash flood swept through villages in a mountainous area of northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing at least 27 people, authorities said.

It was the second major flood reported this week in the north.

Abdul Jabar Taqwa, the governor of Takhar province, said flood waters broke through a dam early Friday, washed down a valley and damaged several villages in Ishkamish district.

“It was a very powerful flood. It hit around midnight,” Taqwa said.

“Dozens of villages have been hit. I’m worried that the death toll will go up.

“Rescuers have been trying to reach the site, but vehicles can only be driven to within a six-hour walk of the area, he said.”It is a disaster,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have enough aid. The only way to access the area is by helicopter.”

On May 6, another flash flood swept through Dhy Marda village in Sari Pul province, killing 21 people, many of them members of a wedding party.

Sayed Jahangir Kramat, the deputy police chief for the province, said about 45 homes were destroyed and another 150 were damaged in that flood as heavy rains caused floodwaters to rush down the mountains.

Other minor flooding earlier this week in two other districts of Sari Pul province killed three people.

Friday, 11 May, 2012 at 07:50 (07:50 AM) UTC RSOE

Malaria oubreak in Madagascar kills 7, hospitalises 60

A particularly severe outbreak of malaria in Madagascar has killed seven people since the beginning of the month and has left 60 others in need of hospitalisation, the country’s health minister said on Thursday.

Madagascar has seen an increase in the number of malaria cases in the first months of 2012 when compared with the previous year, government officials say.

Local doctors say the increase is likely a result of changing climate conditions, which have made the region more hospitable to the insects which carry the disease.

Moreover, the country suffered a coup in 2009 and Madagascar has been in a political stalemate ever since, despite regional efforts to reach an agreement between the military-backed rulers and the old regime now in exile

The stalemate has caused foreign donors to back away from the country, which is also experiencing an economic decline as a result of the political situation.

At the same time, its government is becoming less capable of delivering basic health services.The outbreak has hit the south of the world’s fourth largest island, located off southern Africa in the Indian Ocean.

Health Minister Johanita Ndahimananjara said there were enough supplies of medicine to care for the ill, but stressed that early detection and treatment were crucial to preventing the disease from causing the patient to die.

Malaria, a mosquito-borne parasitic disease that can be fatal, ravages many developing countries.Aid groups often hand out mosquito nets to help prevent people from getting bitten and contracting the disease. Owing to the poverty in Madagascar, many people depend on the hand-outs as they cannot afford to buy nets on their own.

Thursday, 10 May, 2012 at 14:09 (02:09 PM) UTC RSOE

Flash Flood in Fiji – 7 dead, 3 missing, 11,000+ displaced, Epidemic Fear – Update dated 03 April, 2012 at 02:59 UTC

Fijian authorities have warned of possible outbreaks of communicable diseases at evacuation centres filled with people fleeing flooded towns.

Meanwhile the New Zealand Government has made $500,000 available to Fijian authorities as a tropical cyclone threatens to further batter the small island nation. Severe weather pounded Fiji at the weekend, causing flash floods that have left seven people dead and three missing, forced thousands to evacuate their homes and cut off power and water.

A state of natural disaster has been declared for most of Fiji’s Western Division. Rainfall today has slowed and rivers have receded, however the country remains vigilant as a cyclone passes to the west of Fiji.

The Fiji Meteorological Service forecast Tropical Cyclone Daphne would pass at least 500km to the southwest of Nadi, bringing damaging gale force winds to the south-western half of the country and further flooding of low-lying areas.

However the agency has this morning lifted a strong wind warning and a severe flood warning which had been in place for all major rivers and stream. The weather is forecast to clear up by Thursday.

More than 11,000 people in the western division are at 117 evacuation centres in the Western Division. Divisional health inspector Dip Chand told the Fiji Times medical teams have been deployed to the evacuation centres, amid fears of possible outbreaks.

He said strategies had been put in place to prevent or contain diseases. “There should be no grog drinking, smoking or merrymaking allowed at these centres,” he told the Fiji Times.
“People have to respect that there are elderly, women and children at these centres and there needs to be policies in place to address this.”

Nadi’s main road has been closed and is under police guard, the Times reports, and the smell of decomposing food and silt is in the air.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced this morning $500,000 will be immediately made available to agencies assisting flood victims in Fiji.

“In addition to the reported deaths thousands have been forced from their homes and into evacuation centres,” Mr McCully said.

“The situation is severe as Fiji is still recovering from January’s floods and many response agencies will not have fully replenished their supplies. ”

New Zealand’s funding will be provided to the Fiji Red Cross, and other non-government agencies well positioned to respond. New Zealand always stands ready to help the people of Fiji when disaster strikes.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will consider further support based on the needs of relief agencies who are working with flood-affected communities,” Mr McCully says.

New Zealand provided $350,000 to the Fiji Red Cross to support the response to severe floods in January and a further $1.5 million to the Fiji Natural Disaster Management Office and to refurbish evacuation centres.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said 460 New Zealanders were registered as being in Fiji, 118 of them in Nadi. New Zealanders have been advised against all tourist and non-essential travel to parts of the Western Division of Viti Levu, including Nadi and the Coral Coast.

Air New Zealand yesterday cancelled a scheduled A320 flight to Nadi but sent in its place a larger, empty aircraft so it could bring back more stranded passengers.

The Fijian Government has lifted its temporary embargo on airlines carrying passengers on flights into Fiji and Air New Zealand said its next scheduled flight from Auckland to Nadi would go ahead as planned this morning.

“Air New Zealand will continue to monitor weather conditions in Fiji and passengers who are in the Nadi area should check regularly with their hotel for updates,” a spokeswoman said.

Meanwhile, the Salvation Army has launched an appeal to support the flood-ravaged nation. It is requesting financial assistance only – not food or clothing, as it is difficult to get such donations through to Fiji. Auckland-based Radio Apna 990AM has also launched a radio-thon to raise money for those affected. The radio-thon will run until 12am Thursday. – RSOE

A ShelterBox Response Team is also en route from the UK to assess need.

8,000 in evacuation centres from ongoing floods in Fiji. ShelterBox Responds




Tuesday 03 April 2012

ShelterBox responds to flood-struck Fiji

ShelterBox responds to flood-struck Fiji Photograph by NASA/GSFC, Rapid Response. Satellite image shows Cyclone Daphne that recently threatened Fiji but luckily passed the island. Relief efforts can now begin.  

A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) is flying to Fiji to assess the need for emergency shelter, following heavy rains over the past few months that have caused riverbanks to burst flooding villages.

Thousands of homes have been damaged on the largest island of Viti Levu forcing around 8,000 people into evacuation centres. Water and electricity have been cut off in some areas.

The floods are ‘three to four times worse’ than the last devastating floods in 2009, according to the South Pacific nation’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who has called for a solution to the country’s flooding problems.

‘We are consulting with several key players, including Rotary in Suva, DISMAC (Fijian disaster management agency), Red Cross and the New Zealand Government to coordinate an appropriate and rapid response,’ said ShelterBox International Director Lasse Petersen.

SRT members Lyndon Tamblyn (NZ) and Sally Fletcher (NZ) will arrive in Fiji to begin the needs assessment on 5 April.

‘This will be my second deployment to Fiji as I was part of the Response Team that responded to Hurricane Tomas that hit in 2009,’ said Lyndon. ‘The Rotarians and government officials who assisted us then are helping us now and will provide valuable logistical support with transport and language.’