CWS emergency situation report #2: 2008 Tropical Storm Kammuri

August 19, 2008 at 3:49 am Leave a comment

Source: Church World Service (CWS)

Date: 18 Aug 2008

SITUATION:

Flooding caused from Typhoon Kammuri is affecting a large area of southeast Asia. Vietnam was hit first by rain from the storm earlier this month, leaving more than 100 dead or missing; subsequent flooding — described in some reports as the worst flooding in 100 years — has affected Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand, and flooding is expected shortly in Cambodia. The flooding is described as almost a “tidal surge” in strength as it moves south toward Cambodia.

“The Mekong flood is moving downstream,” said Laos-based CWS Asia Regional Coordinator Skip Dangers. ” My prediction is that we will be getting flood emergency reports from Cambodia later this week.”

He added: “The major damages and casualties in Laos from this flood are outside of Vientiane (Laos’s capital) and because of the generally poor communications infrastructure in Laos (particularly in those villages on the river between Vientiane and Luang Prabang where there are no roads or phone infrastructure) and the fact that roads out of Vientiane are blocked by high water, it will take some days (or longer) to get a clear picture of the situation.”

Flooding is affecting rural areas throughout the region because small villages line most riverbanks, making the villages particularly vulnerable to flash flooding.

According to information provided by CWS staff in Vietnam and Laos:

-Flooding has struck parts of Myanmar (Burma) still trying to recover from Cyclone Nargis, the May storm that killed anywhere between 84,000 and more than 100,000; the latest flooding has affected both the capital of Yangon and the Irrawaddy delta area affected most severely by Nargis.

-In Laos, landslides caused by the flooding have killed at least four people there.

-Three northeastern Thai provinces that border the Mekong River and Laos have been badly affected, causing massive flooding to thousands of acres of fertile farmland.

-In Vietnam, a total of 125 have died, and 38 are reported missing; nearly 800 homes have been destroyed, and 17,793 homes have been flooded or damaged.

CWS RESPONSE:

CWS staff members in Laos and Vietnam, working with government and partner relief groups, are conducting assessments to determine unmet needs. CWS may issue an appeal to respond to this emergency.

For further information about disasters to which Church World Service is responding please visit http://www.churchworldservice.org or call the CWS Hotline, (800) 297-1516.

CWS Emergency Response Program special contacts: (212) 870-3151

Program Director: dderr@churchworldservice.org

Domestic: bvollmering@churchworldservice.org

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