I. International

Libya - Human Rights Watch (ECHO, UNHCR)

  • On 20 March, Human Rights Watch (HRW) voiced their deep concern about human right violations against the Tawergha minority. These inhabitants of the town of Tawergha are widely viewed as having supported Muammar Gaddafi.
  • HRW points at the forced displacement of about 40,000 Tawerghas, and at the “arbitrary detentions, torture, and killings are widespread, systematic, and sufficiently organized to be crimes against humanity”.
  • Similarly, UNHCR highlight that they remain concerned about the protection situation of IDPs who continue to fear revenge attacks and arbitrary arrests. UNHCR has recently started a new mapping exercise of IDPs throughout Libya. This is intended to gather updated information on the size of the IDP population in Libya and document protection needs including eviction threats.

Sahrawi – Refugee crisis (ECHO, UNHCR, WFP)

  • On 17 March, UNHCR and WFP issued the preliminary results of the nutrition survey carried out in the Sahrawi refugee camps in November 2012.
  • The survey shows a limited improvement of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) and Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM)  from 2010, but rates are still above international thresholds.
  • Nutritional status in the Dakhla camp seems to have improved. Increasing rates of GAM in Laayoune could be attributed to an outbreak of diarrhea in November 2012, at the time of the survey.
  • Anaemia rates among children under 5 are also decreasing (-46% from 2010), but no changes are reported among pregnant and lactating women.
  • The Food Consumption Score (FCS) is also improving compared with 2010 survey, though in a limited way too. The decreasing FCS in Awserd cannot be explained at this stage.

Saint Lucia – Drought (ECHO)

  • Saint Lucia has been suffering a drought due to below average rains since 2010. The recent rains of 19 of March will not allow improving the current situation.
  • The sole water company in Saint Lucia, WASCO stated that “Due to the current effects of the dry weather pattern, residents at the extreme ends of distribution networks and at high elevations are likely to be affected first. A drought management plan for both the north and south of the island has been developed and will be implemented by the middle of March for the north and south if the intense dry weather continues."

Mexico – Severe drought (ECHO)

  • The National Water Commission (CONAGUA) declared a yellow alert in 37 percent of the Mexican territory affected by drought, mainly in the north and center of the country. This situation is very likely to worsen during 2013, since experts foresee significant shortages in rainfall for the coming months (40% less for the next three months).
  • According to CONAGUA, on average, 170 major water tanks were at 56 percent of their filling capacity at the end of February, which is 14 percent less than the historical average. The country has already experienced recurrent droughts in previous years which severely affected crops and killed livestock in the same regions.
  • Dams located in the Valley of Mexico are at 58 percent of their capacity. They supply a quarter of the water consumed in the Valley of Mexico (including the capital) and begin to show a yellow alert.

Cambodia – Avian flu (ECHO)

  • According the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) in Cambodia the avian flu outbreak, that has killed 8 people since January, is under control. However, the NCDM added that the pandemic may appear again at any time due to the unhygienic habits of poultry farmers and butchers, particularly in rural areas.
  • According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), since the disease emerged in 2003 to the present, Cambodia has reported 30 cases, of which only three survived. It therefore has been described as rare but deadly.

China – Severe weather (Chinese Government, Xinhua, Chinese Media)

  • Strong winds and thunderstorms hit Dongguan City in Guangdong province, SE China, on 20 March. As of late on the same day, 9 people were killed by collapsed buildings and 148 others were injured, 11 of them critically.
  • Strong winds affected also Yongzhou County in Hunan province on 20 March, resulting in 2 people killed, at least 30 injured, at least 20 houses collapsed and extended power outages.
  • According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, since 19 March severe weather in the provinces of Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong and Guizhou has killed a total of 24 people and destroyed ca. 2,000 houses.


Factsheet updates:

II. Europe

Meteoalarm – Red and Orange Alerts as of 07:00 UTC

  • Coastal event (high waves) in the central and eastern Azores, Portugal – Red Alert
  • Strong winds in NW Spain, southern Italy including Sicily, western Azores in Portugal – Orange Alert
  • Coastal event in NW Spain and western Azores, Portugal – Orange Alert
  • Thunderstorms in most of Greece, except the southern parts – Orange Alert
  • Ice and Snow in northern Ireland and SE Poland – Orange Alert
  • Heavy rain in the Azores, Portugal – Orange Alert

Reported floods during the last 24 hours (National Hydrological Services)

  • Germany: Ongoing flood of Alert level 1 (Lowest level provided exceeded) at Oder/Adra river (112143 km2) – Stuetzkow station
  • Germany: Ongoing flood of Alert level 1 (Lowest level provided exceeded) at Saale river (4939 km2) – Oberthau station
  • Serbia: Ongoing floods of Alert level 1 of Serbia in Danube and Sava river basins. Water levels are decreasing.

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