Disaster Alert: Earthquakes in Iran

August 13, 2012

Disaster Alert

Iran – Aug 13, 2012 – A series of earthquakes yesterday in north-west Iran has left hundreds dead and thousands without homes. The Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRCS) has deployed staff and volunteers to assist in rescue and relief operations. The IRCS has distributed over 9,000 tents in the area to provide emergency shelter for those affected by the earthquake. Supplies of blankets, food and other emergency items are already being distributed. In all, over 800 IRCS staff and volunteers are on the ground supporting the relief effort. Currently, the IRCS has asked for no external/international assistance.


Triple Typhoons Hit the Philippines: Red Cross Responds

August 9, 2012

With reporting by Afrhill Rances and Joe Cropp

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A series of triple typhoons has triggered torrential rain, floods and landslides in parts of the Philippines, including the capital Manila, inundating large areas of the region and killing more than 50 people. As a national society, the Philippine Red Cross is working around the clock to ensure those in affected communities are receiving emergency help they need.

Rescue trucks, amphibious vehicles, and rubber boats have all been deployed in the wake of the worsening flood situation brought by the continuous rains. In many instances, it’s the only way to get to those trapped by the rising waters. While the Red Cross has rescued more than 1,000 people and assisted in the evacuation of another 8,000 to date, many more remain in need. The flooding—caused by Typhoons Saola, Damrey and more recently Haikui—has brought the heaviest rains the country has seen in three years, affecting some 1.2 million people.

In response to the disaster, more than 300 staff and volunteers have been mobilized, providing 8,000 people with emergency food packages or hot meals. Nearly 242,000 people are being temporarily housed in 614 Red Cross evacuation centers across the country.

Operating in 185 countries around the world, the Red Cross is highly adaptable, allowing each national society to respond in a way that works most effectively in their own country. The Philippines is an archipelago consisting of more than 7,100 islands, which means using boats and amphibious vehicles during disasters are often the best methods to reach survivors.

The typhoons have also swept through Taiwan and China. In Taiwan, six people have been killed and heavy rains have touched off widespread mudslides, forcing the evacuation of more than 1,500 people island-wide. In China, 23 people have been confirmed dead and nine others missing. Rainstorms and mudslides have destroyed nearly 30,000 houses and damaged at least 32,000 others and more than 420,000 residents have been forced to relocate.
For more information, visit www.redcross.org.


Disaster Alert: American Red Cross Responds to Flooding in Afghanistan

June 18, 2012

Disaster Alert

Afghanistan – The American Red Cross has responded to an emergency appeal released by the global Red Cross network to assist communities severely affected by flooding in Afghanistan. The $50,000 contribution will go towards meeting emergency relief needs.

Beginning on May 18, 2012, continuous rains coupled with the melting of huge accumulations of snow have triggered flash floods, impacting more than 27,450 people in the north. The Afghan Red Crescent has been working in affected communities since the flooding began, providing food, health care, water sanitation kits and supplies such as tents, tarpaulins and kitchen sets.

The American Red Cross is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to support the Afghan Red Crescent if required. For an on-the-ground perspective, click here for a story from the Afghan Red Crescent.


Disaster Update: Horn of Africa Drought Relief Contributions Completed

April 26, 2012

Disaster Update

The American Red Cross is completing its contributions to the Horn of Africa drought with an additional amount of $736,000 to support programs and recovery efforts in Kenya and Ethiopia. This slow onset disaster began in 2009 and has affected more than 13 million people in five countries.

This brings the total contributions made possible by the generosity of the American people to over $4 million, which have supported relief efforts through out the region. This last allocation of funds will support the Ethiopian Red Cross and the Kenya Red Cross with their drought relief operations and will also provide funding to the Ethiopian Red Cross for disaster risk reduction projects to help mitigate the impact of future disasters.

Though rains have increased across east Africa, a strong spring rainy season is crucial for a more sustained improvement in pasture, crop and livestock conditions.


Disaster Update: Flooding in Peru

April 25, 2012

Disaster Update

Hydro-meteorological disturbances and the La Niña weather pattern have worsened Peru’s annual rainy season, causing major flooding across the country affecting an estimated 650,000 people. In addition to the large number of homes and business affected, roads have also been badly damaged making the distribution of relief supplies very challenging.

On March 29th three-quarters of Peru’s departments (states) declared a state of emergency. The Peruvian Red Cross plans to help 4,000 people in the most affected department, Loreto, with locally purchased relief items, access to safe water, disease prevention efforts, and activities to improve conditions in evacuation centers.

The American Red Cross has committed $100,000 to the Peruvian Red Cross response efforts for relief supplies and technical support. The American Red Cross continues to monitor the situation and stands ready to provide additional assistance as needed.


Disaster Update: Civil Unrest in Syria

March 12, 2012

Disaster Update

March 9, 2012

The American Red Cross has contributed an additional $100,000 to efforts in Syria, bringing the total committed funds since October 2011 to $235,000.

A year after violence began between the Syrian government and protestors demanding political reform, the humanitarian situation in Syria has worsened. Thousands of people are trapped in their homes, are caught in open conflict or are fleeing to escape the fighting. Food and water supplies are running low in some areas and medical needs are urgent. The UN reports that more than 9,000 people have been killed during the conflict, including more than 600 children. The UN and other organizations have called for immediate humanitarian action.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent has been assisting those in need since the violence began. In many parts of the country, it is the only humanitarian organization on the ground. It has helped more than 200,000 people with much needed medical care, ambulance services, food and relief supplies. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), working closely in partnership with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, has been delivering essential first aid, medical supplies and other emergency response equipment to affected areas, hospitals and other healthcare facilities. In addition, ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have mobilized volunteers and staff in the cities of Homs and Al Zabadani to provide medical and humanitarian assistance for people in need, despite difficult and dangerous conditions.

The American Red Cross is supporting the humanitarian efforts of the Red Cross and Red Crescent network’s response to the crisis in Syria and has provided financial assistance through the International Federation to the Syrian Arab Red Cross. The American Red Cross continues to monitor the situation and the efforts of the International Federation, ICRC and Syrian Arab Red Crescent and stands ready to provide additional assistance as needed.
For more information on the situation in Syria, visit www.icrc.org.


Disaster Alert: Drought in Paraguay

March 8, 2012

Disaster Alert

Paraguay — One of the most important agricultural regions is suffering from serious drought due to irregular rain patterns from La Niña weather cycles.

The government declared a food security emergency in January, when agricultural production was predicted to drop 30 to 50 percent across the region. Low river water levels are limiting food and commercial shipping.

The American Red Cross is committed to assisting the Paraguayan Red Cross in its response to more than 263,000 families who are in need of immediate food and safe water relief.


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