10/01/2013

I. International

Jordan – Syrian refugees (ECHO)

  • Three days of heavy rain and strong winds have severely affected approximately 47,000 Syrian refugees in Zaatari Refugee Camp in northern Jordan. Temperatures have dropped close to freezing point.  Riots broke out when drenched and cold refugees sought shelter in containers serving as offices for humanitarian actors and in the school. People who have just crossed the border are being sheltered in the nearby town of Mafraq.  A team of ECHO (Amman RSO and MIC experts) visited Zaatari on 8 January to assess the situation.
  • The security situation is tense but calm. Military police and the gendarmerie were seen patrolling the camp and controlling the traffic. Drainage works are on-going with excavators digging trenches in the most flooded areas.
  • There is an urgent need for the procurement of portable toilets, solid waste bins, soap and hygiene parcels, heaters, warm clothes and water-proof coats.
  • Supplies of food and blankets have been pre-positioned in the camp. Emergency food rations were distributed on 9 January.
  • A coordinated emergency response is taking place and closely followed by ECHO.

Mongolia - Extreme weather (ECHO)

  • Almost 80 % of the country is covered by snow, preventing livestock from grazing and blocking roads/mountain passes, cutting off remote communities. Some areas are experiencing day temperatures of between –30C and -38C and night temperatures -40C and -45C degrees.
  • The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) met to discuss urgent measures, as a Dzud is predicted similar to that of winter 2009-10, when over 9 million head of livestock were lost, affecting the livelihoods of 500,000 people. Evacuations from worst affected areas, extra rescue units, frequent weather warnings and increased supplies of hay, fodder and technical assistance are planned.
  • DG ECHO is monitoring the situation from its Regional Support Office in Bangkok, in case external assistance is required.

Afghanistan – Cold wave (ECHO)

  • Afghanistan currently faces a cold wave with heavy snowfall and temperatures below -20°C in some regions of the country.
  • Three children and one elderly person have died in the Kabul Informal Settlements (KIS) despite well-planned winterization assistance by a coordination of humanitarian organisations supported by DG ECHO. The total KIS population is estimated at 35,000 people living in 62 different sites under makeshift tents without adequate protection against the harsh winter.
  • As of 6 January, 19 out of 35 targeted sites had received some form of food assistance; a total of 50 out of 56 targeted sites also received clothing and/or Non-Food-Items (NFIs), and a total of 55 out of 62 targeted sites received fuel in the form of firewood or coal.

Pakistan – Epidemic Outbreak (ECHO)

  • As an emergency response to an epidemic of measles, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has started a measles vaccination campaign targeting 2.9 million children in Sindh.
  • The Sindh province has suffered very significantly from the effects of three successive years of serious monsoon floods. To date, 250 fatalities have been reported. A number of factors including lack of access to clean water and sanitation, damage to houses and infrastructure as a result of the floods, lack of healthcare facilities, shortages of vaccines and inconsistency in vaccinations have resulted in the high levels of fatality from measles particularly among children already suffering from malnutrition. Over 500 outbreaks of measles were reported by WHO during November and December 2012. 
  • Considering the seriousness of the present situation, there is an urgent need for prompt response to avoid further spread of the disease and to prevent a further sharp rise in mortality.

Myanmar - Kachin conflict (ECHO)

  • The last few weeks (since Dec 24) have seen unprecedented aerial attacks by the Myanmar military on the ethnic Kachin rebels (the Kachin Independence Army- KIA) in north-eastern Myanmar, bordering China. The 18 month conflict has already displaced more than 70,000 people and this latest fighting is likely to increase the number significantly.
  • Humanitarian access in Kachin remains extremely precarious with UN convoys prevented from reaching non-government controlled areas since June 2012. ECHO currently has on-going funding to Kachin of EUR 5 million but local implementing partners are currently hampered in reaching the civilians following the latest air attacks. 

Indonesia – Floods (ECHO)

  • Heavy rain caused flooding in South Sulawesi. So far 8 casualties have been reported. Tens of thousands of homes were inundated. Flooding and landslides also disrupted travel. The Provincial Disaster Mitigation Agency and the Indonesian Red Cross have carried out search and rescue, built temporary shelters, health centers and distributed relief supplies.

Bangladesh – Cold wave (ECHO)

  • A cold wave is sweeping the country with the season's lowest temperature recorded at 4.9 degrees Celsius at Ishurdi in Pabna yesterday.
  • The Bangladeshi meteorological department also forecast that there would be at least two more mild to moderate cold waves in the country this month.
  • The present cold spell is severe in Pabna, Dinajpur, Tangail and Kushtia districts and mild to moderate in other parts of Rajshahi, Rangpur and Dhaka divisions, and in Jessore and Srimangal.
  • DG ECHO will support the urgent distribution of 48.000 blankets to 24.000 households in the most affected areas through its Small Scale response decision for a total amount of 200.000 EUR.

Australia – Bushfires (BBC, CNN, BOM, NSW Fire Service, Tasmania Fire Service, Queensland Rural Fire Service, Victoria Fire Service, Media)

  • On 09 January the high temperatures that affected SE Australia in the last few days slightly decreased (an increase is forecast on 11 January). Numerous fires were still burning in the States of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania. 

II. Europe

Meteoalarm – Orange Alerts

  • Ice and snow in eastern Czech Republic, in western Austria and in Latvia – Orange Alert

Floods in Europe (EFAS)

  • UK: Continued flooding reported in England. Saturated conditions in most areas. Water levels are slowly falling.
  • DE: Continued high water levels in the Elbe. Flood peak travelling downstream.

 


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