Feb 15, 2007
Villagers hit by flooding in Fiji's northern division on the island of Vanua Levu nearly two weeks ago are reported to be on the verge of starvation. All their food supplies have run out and they have not received any food rations from the authorities. Most people are now relying on flood damaged root crops for survival and they are calling on the interim administration to speed up the distribution of food rations. The northern commissioner says after the 2003 floods the same villagers had been advised to move their homes and food gardens to higher ground but they did not heed the advice.
TORRENTIAL RAIN/ FLOODS/LANDSLIDES
PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Heavy rain and storm force winds over recent weeks have reportedly caused at least ten deaths in Papua New Guinea's Madang province. This week has seen some respite from the heavy rain, but the Madang Disaster centre says people are still experiencing flooding around the Ramu and Guam rivers. Six people were buried alive under tonnes of mud in one major landslide. Three others were killed in a violent storm and another person drowned in one of a number of boating accidents in high seas. "It has been quite terrible since the beginning of this year until now. We've been experiencing high winds, heavy rains, landslides, flooding, boating accidents. A lot of the crops and gardens have been damaged, floods have swept away livestock, cash crops, food gardens. I hope nature will be kind to us in the next few weeks." Bad weather is still preventing officers from reaching some remote areas affected by flooding and landslides, but they hope to access them soon.
INDIA - Unseasonal rains and hailstorm, caused due to the westerly disturbances, continued to lash various parts of the State on Monday causing extensive damage to crops even as the death roll in lightning rose to nine with three more deaths reported from Seopur and Shivpuri districts and injuries to eight in Rewa district on Sunday. Crops have been extensively damaged in hundreds of villages.
BOLIVIA - the number of people affected by severe flooding in Bolivia has risen by 25,000 in recent days. Overall, some 200,000 people have been affected by the flooding, which has damaged more than 70,000 hectares of cropland. Although the heavy rains have subsided in the hardest hit regions, and many evacuees have been able to return to their homes, approximately 16,700 people remain in 33 shelters in Santa Cruz.
ZAMBIA - Recent flooding has claimed the lives of at least five people, swept away by floodwaters or crushed when their houses caved in, and left around 50,000 homeless. Heavy rains damaged roads and washed away bridges, cutting off parts of the country.
PAKISTAN - Nine people died yesterday when the roofs of homes, a mosque and a sawmill collapsed in rains in north-western Pakistan, taking the number of people killed in rain-related incidents in recent days to 36. A spell of heavy winter monsoon rains started to hit many parts of Pakistan on Friday including the North West Frontier province, where dozens of homes with mud and thatch roofs have either collapsed or been damaged.
KAZAKHSTAN - Flooding in southern Kazakhstan has forced hundreds of people to leave their homes after the Syrdarya River burst its banks in several places. There are no reports of casualties, but houses along the riverbank have been flooded. "The flooding began on 9 February when a dam 3km from the [southern] city of Kyzylorda burst, flooding 14.5 hectares of land and 45 homes." Overnight on 10-11 February the river burst its banks near the Kyzylorda hydro-engineering complex, flooding more houses and leading to the evacuation of 900 people. Another 70 houses were flooded on 12 February near the village of Aynakol when a dam failed to cope with rising water levels. The MOE is fighting to contain an ice jam in the river, which caused flooding along the banks south of Kyzylorda. Explosives have been used to send it downstream. Water is a controversial commodity in Central Asia. In winter Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan release water from dams upstream to generate electricity, which exacerbates floods caused by weather conditions in downstream countries such as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. In summer, however, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan face water shortages as their upstream neighbours collect water in their dams for winter power-generating purposes. The lack of a clear water-management system for the region exacerbates the problems caused by nature.