Disaster Alert: Cyclone Mahsen

June 3, 2013

Disaster Alert

On May 16, 2013 Cyclone Mahsen made landfall in southern Bangladesh and Myanmar bringing strong winds and flooding that affected 1.5 million people. 26,000 houses were destroyed, 124,000 were damaged and over one million people were evacuated to cyclone shelters. The Bangladesh Red Crescent mobilized over 50,000 volunteers from the Cyclone Preparedness Program, which is supported by the American Red Cross on an ongoing basis, to assist in evacuations and early warning before the storm made landfall.

After the storm, the Bangladesh Red Crescent conducted search and rescue operations and distributed food and water. It has also provided first aid and relief supplies, such as tarps and jerry cans, and distributed cash grants to those affected by the storm. The American Red Cross has committed $100,000 for cash grants which will allow people to purchase food, essential household items and materials to repair their homes.


Disaster Update: Syria

February 25, 2013

Disaster Update

By Raefah Makki, IFRC

On February 7, 2013 the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) successfully sent a convoy of relief supplies to the towns of Aleppo and Menbej. The assistance was in response to the growing needs in northern Syria. Eleven trucks containing support items for around 20,000 people reached Aleppo on February 8 and Menbej the following day.

The convoy carried 22,000 essential relief items (food parcels, hygiene kits, tarpaulins, jerry cans, and household parcels). Most of the items were provided with support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), while the Danish Red Cross provided quilts.

“We definitely attracted attention,” Rami, a SARC staff escorting the convoy, said. “People were excited, but not surprised. In Manbej, the organization branch has been playing a vital role during the conflict; managing local bakeries and distributing relief items.”

Since the beginning of February, SARC and the IFRC, has distributed essential non-food items, including 49,740 blankets, 17,100 tarpaulins, and 9,550 hygiene kits in 9 of Syria’s 14 governorates. SARC has also distributed 15,000 quilts with the support of the Danish Red Cross during the same time frame.

Rami said there were many challenges on the road: “We faced problems but we overcame them. I hope we can do another convoy very soon again. People really need help.”

At least 3,000 volunteers are actively involved in aid operations for SARC, and approximately 10,000 volunteers have been trained to provide support in disaster response, first aid, restoring family links, relief distribution and other priority activities.

To date the American Red Cross has contributed $435,000 to the relief efforts in Syria and $200,000 to support response operations in neighboring countries. This funding has helped provide food, shelter and relief supplies.


Disaster Update: American Red Cross Contributes $50,000 to Zimbabwe Disaster Relief

January 23, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 – The American Red Cross is contributing $50,000 to help those affected by food insecurity caused by drought and below-normal rainfall in Zimbabwe.

The disaster has impacted approximately 1.6 million people primarily in the southern regions of the country. Droughts over the past two years, along with poor agricultural practices and limited access to supplies, have contributed to a smaller harvest and worsening conditions. Below-normal rainfall is predicted to continue in the south for the upcoming season as well. Assessments have indicated an immediate need for food, agriculture support and clean water.

The Zimbabwe Red Cross is coordinating with the government and other international organizations to respond to the food and water shortage. With the support of partners from the global Red Cross network, the Zimbabwe Red Cross hopes to reach 10,000 people with food, agriculture support, and water and sanitation activities. It is also developing plans aimed at reducing risk during future disasters.

The American Red Cross contribution will go to support water and sanitation activities in the affected regions.

For more information on the disaster, visit http://www.redcrosszim.org.zw/.


Disaster Alert: Tropical Cyclone Evan

December 13, 2012

Disaster Alert

American Samoa – Evan is located 57 miles of Pago Pago and has tracked northeastward at 5 mph over the past six hours. Maximum sustained winds are 90 mph with gusts to 115 mph. Satellite imagery indicates that Evan has slowed and its motion appears to be quasi-stationary. Evan is forecast to be close to American Samoa on Thursday.

The Area Director communicated with government agencies and will coordinate with the San Diego as well as Hawaii chapters to identify human and material support in anticipation of Evan.


Disaster Update: Nigeria Flood Response

December 12, 2012

Disaster Update

Nigeria – Between July and October 2012, the worst flooding Nigeria has experienced in 40 years affected 7 million people, displaced 2.1 million, and killed 363.  Flooding destroyed crops and damaged roads and bridges making transportation of goods to communities extremely difficult. In some areas, food prices have increased by 30 to 70 percent resulting in food insecurity. In October, the American Red Cross deployed a relief/shelter specialist to join the International Federation’s Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT). The American Red Cross has also committed $100,000 to assist in relief operations including the distribution of relief supplies, shelter assistance, hygiene promotion and water and sanitation activities. 


Disaster Alert: Typhoon Bopha

December 4, 2012

Disaster Alert

Philippines – Typhoon Bopha made landfall early this morning on the eastern coast of Mindanao Island in the Philippines as a category 4 typhoon with winds topping 109mph and gusts over 130mph. Bopha is expected to transverse provinces in the upper half of Mindanao before exiting the northern part of Palawan into the sea west of Philippines. Authorities ordered the pre-emptive evacuation of 42,000 people living in high-risk areas.

The Philippines Red Cross (PRC) has been monitoring the situation 24/7 and have put their volunteers, rescue teams and medical teams on stand-by to respond quickly to the impact of Typhoon Bopha. They are currently assessing the damage, community needs, and developing a response plan based on that assessment. They have requested assistance from the global Red Cross network to dispatch supplies from a warehouse in the Philippines and support emergency sheltering operations.


Disaster Alert: Malawi

December 3, 2012

Disaster Alert

Malawi – As a result of low food production and an increasing economic crisis, Malawi is facing a critical food shortage, affecting an estimated 1.9 million people. Heavy rains and flooding followed by a prolonged dry spell resulted in poor harvest this fall. The food shortage is concentrated in central and southern Malawi, affect and is exacerbated by fuel shortages, rising food prices, and rapid inflation which occurred earlier this year.

The Malawi Red Cross is coordinating with the Malawi government and other international organizations to plan a response strategy to the current food shortage. With support from the global Red Cross network, they plan to reach 17,500 of the most vulnerable people with food packages, emergency health, hygiene promotion and agricultural support. The American Red Cross is contributing $150,000 to support this relief effort and will continue to monitor the ongoing disaster through our Red Cross partners in the region.


Disaster Alert: Panama Floods

November 30, 2012

Disaster Alert

Panama – Severe rains in Panama are causing flooding and landslides that are threatening vulnerable communities and economic activities in two major provinces, Colon and Panama. The Panamanian Red Cross is assisting with search and rescue missions*, pre-hospital care and early damage assessments, and estimates that at least 800 families have been directly affected by the disaster.

The American Red Cross has a longstanding relationship with the Panamanian Red Cross, which includes disaster risk reduction efforts through the multi-year Latin America Risk Reduction Activity program (LARRA). The American Red Cross is providing logistical support and approximately $35,000 worth of relief supplies in the form of blankets and hygiene kits that will be shipped from the regional warehouse in Panama. We will remain in close communication with the Panamanian Red Cross and other national societies in the region as the situation develops.

*The American Red Cross is saddened to learn of the deaths of two Panamanian Red Cross relief volunteers, Jorge Aleman and Fernando Johnson. Aleman, the Director of Disaster Operations for the Panamanian Red Cross and former LARRA coordinator for the American Red Cross in Panama, and Johnson, National Director of Volunteers for the Panamanian Red Cross, were killed when their pickup truck became trapped in a landslide and road collapse while traveling back from conducting damage and needs assessments in response to the disaster.

PRC Search Photo
Photo Caption: A Panamanian Red Cross rescue worker searches for his fallen colleagues after a landslide led to a road collapse outside of Colon, Panama. Photo from Xinhuanet.


Disaster Alert: Earthquakes in China

September 7, 2012

Disaster Alert

China – A 5.7 magnitude earthquake, followed by a series of 16 after-quakes, struck the Southwest region of China early this morning local time. Official figures released say the disaster has left 50 people killed and 150 injured, with numbers expected to rise. The Red Cross Society of China immediately deployed assessment teams to the area and has mobilized 2,000 quilts, 2,000 jackets and 500 tents to the Yunnan province.

The American Red Cross is monitoring the situation through our Beijing-based delegate as well our partners in the region.


Disaster Update: Flooding in Bangladesh

August 23, 2012

Disaster Update

Bangladesh – The American Red Cross is contributing $100,000 help those affected by severe flooding and landslides caused by heavy rains in Bangladesh.

The disaster has impacted approximately 5 million people in ten districts, killing 139 people and destroying more than 350,000 homes. Thousands remain displaced, living in schools, mosques or makeshift shelters. Because the majority of the country’s population is dependent on agriculture as a main source of income, the crops and livestock destroyed by the flooding has meant few resources remain to help them recover. The spread of waterbourne disease is a rising concern due to many contaminated water sources and more than 10,000 damaged water points. In central regions of the country, rainfall patterns and flooding conditions are expected to get worse.

The Bangladesh Red Crescent has been responding to the needs of those affected since the flooding started in June. They have coordinated search and rescue efforts, and are providing first aid, food, water and relief items. The Bangladesh Red Cross also has deployed emergency assessment teams to help determine the needs of each region.

The American Red Cross contribution will go to cash distribution programs aimed at meeting emergency household needs.

For more information on the disaster, visit http://www.redcross.org.ph.


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