7 of 10 SINKING; Thailand: high water advances towards Bangkok! Pakistan: two million affected by floods! Niger floods claim 88 lives, 500 000 affected!

Thailand SINKING:

/ A mere eight months since flood waters receded from Thailand’s capital, there is once again fear in the Kingdom that history is being repeated. Last year the World Bank estimated that the cost to Thailand’s economy of severe flooding was approximately 1.4tn baht ($46bn). In the last few days, much of the north of the country has been inundated and as high water advances towards Bangkok the government has issued warnings to urban residents. /

Pakistan SINKING:

/ Briefing journalists and officials regarding the situation in western Sindh, provincial disaster management authority (PDMA) Director General (DG) Hashim Zaidi placed the number of people affected by the floods in the region at two million. “There is no relief for three million people in Kashmore and Jacobabad facing the worst kind of disaster,” Gilani claimed. PPP MNA Ejaz Jakhrani echoed Gilani’s sentiments. “The present government is sleeping,” he claimed, adding that there was no coordination between NDMA and PDMA in dealing with the disaster. /

Myanmar (Burma):

7 of 10 Africa Rolls:

Nigeria:

September 8, 2012

September 23, 2009

/ Flooding across Nigeria has killed at least 137 people and displaced more than 35,000 since July, the Red Cross said Monday, as officials urged mass evacuations along the River Niger, fearing it was set to overflow. Heavy rainfall in two northern states has spilled contaminants into drinking wells, leading to a cholera outbreak that has killed at least eight and left scores of others hospitalised, according to local officials. Various agencies have offered different figures for the lives lost during the rainy season and the Red Cross did not include the cholera deaths among its flood toll. /

Niger:

Worst flooding in 100 years!

/ Floods in Niger have killed 81 people since July, the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs announced Thursday, adding cholera outbreaks have killed a further 81 people. "The last update of the toll of the floods dating from September 11 indicates that 527,471 people have been affected by the bad weather and 81 people have lost their lives," OCHA said in a statement in Niamey. The previous toll established by the authorities was 68 dead and 485,000 people affected in the Sahel nation in west Africa. /

South Sudan:

/ Floods in South Sudan Suspected to Have Killed 15 People. Around twelve people in Western Equatoria State and three people from Awerial County in Lakes State are believed to have died due to floods and fast flowing rivers over the last two days, according to officials. Western Equatoria State's minister of information and communications, Charles Barnaba Kisanga, said in a statement on Tuesday that a whole vehicle - registration number CE515R - traveling from Yambio to Juba had been washed away at the at the Luri Bridge crossing of the Luri River at 8pm on Monday. All 12 passengers are believed to have died. Heavy rain caused the Gel River, which is located at the eastern part of the county, to overflow, Mayom said, adding that the floods had been a surprise. /

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Nigeria:

Nigeria floods kill 137 since July: Red Cross

LAGOS — Flooding across Nigeria has killed at least 137 people and displaced more than 35,000 since July, the Red Cross said Monday, as officials urged mass evacuations along the River Niger, fearing it was set to overflow.

Heavy rainfall in two northern states has spilled contaminants into drinking wells, leading to a cholera outbreak that has killed at least eight and left scores of others hospitalised, according to local officials.

Various agencies have offered different figures for the lives lost during the rainy season and the Red Cross did not include the cholera deaths among its flood toll.

The states affected by floods range from Lagos in the southwest to Adamawa in the northeast, where at least 30 people died following the release of water from a dam in Cameroon that caused Nigeria's River Benue to overflow.

The disaster management coordinator with the Nigeria Red Cross, Umar Mairiga, who provided the death toll, said 36,331 people had been displaced across 15 affected states.

Water levels at two dams on the River Niger, which cuts through several southern and central states, have reached their highest points in 29 years, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said in a statement.

"NEMA has ordered the immediate evacuation of citizens living along the River Niger plains," it said, listing communities in five states as the most vulnerable.

A NEMA official told AFP it was impossible to estimate the number of people whose homes were at risk, but said the figure certainly numbered in the thousands.

The heavy rainfall has propelled a cholera outbreak in several west African countries and officials in northern Nigeria have confirmed at least 135 cases.

In Katsina state, the chairman of the Faskari local government area, Isyaku Faskari-Ahmed, said two villages had "lost eight people to cholera (and) more than 70 were hospitalised from the disease".

Emergency officials in Adamawa state have reported 65 cases, but no deaths.

In Sierra Leone, the hardest hit country, at least 244 people have died and more than 14,000 thousand have been affected.

Cholera, an intestinal infection, is transmitted by water soiled by human waste. The disease leads to diarrhoea, dehydration and death if untreated.

More than 200 deaths from the water-borne infection were recorded during Nigeria's seasonal downpours last year.

The rainy season in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country with about 160 million people, runs roughly from March to September.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j7RDHGhLOSymTTfX...

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Niger:

Niger floods and cholera claim 162 lives: UN

NIAMEY — Floods in Niger have killed 81 people since July, the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs announced Thursday, adding cholera outbreaks have killed a further 81 people.

"The last update of the toll of the floods dating from September 11 indicates that 527,471 people have been affected by the bad weather and 81 people have lost their lives," OCHA said in a statement in Niamey.

The previous toll established by the authorities was 68 dead and 485,000 people affected in the Sahel nation in west Africa.

Thousands of homes, schools, health centres and mosques have been destroyed, along with large quantities of food supplies, according to the authorities.

The UN office also reported outbreaks of cholera, which have claimed 81 lives since the start of the year, mainly in the west of the country.

Cholera is spreading fast in at least four places, making 3,854 people sick and notably affecting the Tillaberi regions lying by the Niger river and close to the border with Mali, OCHA said.

In the provinces and in the capital, where the Niger river level is rising significantly, most of the people stricken by flooding are being housed mainly in schools, as well as mosques and public buildings.

While preparing to move flood victims to more appropriate accommodation, the government has postponed the start of the school year from October 17 until October 27.

In neighbouring Burkina Faso, heavy rains have killed 18 people and made 21,000 homeless since June. Senegal and Nigeria have also been affected by the bad weather.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gphBNm32Yp-cx1QY...

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South Sudan:

South Sudan: Floods in South Sudan Suspected to Have Killed 15 People

Juba/Rumbek — Around twelve people in Western Equatoria State and three people from Awerial County in Lakes State are believed to have died due to floods and fast flowing rivers over the last two days, according to officials.

Western Equatoria State's minister of information and communications, Charles Barnaba Kisanga, said in a statement on Tuesday that a whole vehicle - registration number CE515R - traveling from Yambio to Juba had been washed away at the at the Luri Bridge crossing of the Luri River at 8pm on Monday. All 12 passengers are believed to have died.

"We are deeply saddened by such event which shows the dangers of driving on our roads these days", Kisanga said.

Heavy rains across South Sudan are making roads impassable and cutting off commercial activities and supplies from reaching towns and rural areas.

Minister Kisanga explained there was nothing much the state government could do to improve the situation since there was a lack of funds due to the austerity measures introduced after South Sudan stopped oil production in January as part of a transit fee dispute with Khartoum.

The cuts have crippled government plans to link the area to Juba and other towns and areas with well maintained roads.

"They have been cut and we can only advise drivers to take extra care. The Western Equatoria Government is currently mobilizing some resources for the part between Madebe and Ibba but it may not provide any immediate solution", he said.

"We only advise drivers to exercise maximum care especially if deciding to use the Jambo-Juba Road. The advice is to use [the] Yei-Juba Road even though this is also in bad state and takes longer. Luri has become very hazardous", he explained.

"The driver Joseph Peter survived the accident. We are still waiting on news update from Juba on the recovery of bodies. Our condolences to all relatives and friends of those who might have perished in the accident", he said.

LAKES STATE FLOODS

In Lakes State, the Awerial County commissioner David Mayom Riak, has reported that more than 2,000 people have been displaced and three people, including a nine-year-old child have died due to flooding.

Heavy rain caused the Gel River, which is located at the eastern part of the county, to overflow, Mayom said, adding that the floods had been a surprise.

Commissioner Mayom said that Dor, Bunagok, Alel and Magok payams [districts] were affected, asking humanitarian organizations, the state government as well national government in Juba to quickly intervene.

This is the first time serious floods have hit the county since South Sudan became independent last year.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201209120200.html

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Thailand:

Thai floods: a repeat of 2011?

A mere eight months since flood waters receded from Thailand’s capital, there is once again fear in the Kingdom that history is being repeated.

Last year the World Bank estimated that the cost to Thailand’s economy of severe flooding was approximately 1.4tn baht ($46bn). In the last few days, much of the north of the country has been inundated and as high water advances towards Bangkok the government has issued warnings to urban residents.

In 2011, several companies including Honda, Hitachi, Sanyo and Western Digital became submerged and the global supply chain for consumer electronics and automobiles was disrupted. However, based on the government’s rainfall and dam capacity statistics, investors perhaps do not need to be excessively concerned that 2012 will be a repeat.

A lack of available dam capacity coupled with higher than usual rainfall were key reasons for last year’s catastrophic flooding. The country’s two biggest dams, Bhumibol and Sirikit, are currently 54 per cent and 55 per cent full respectively, according to official figures. At the same time last year the figures were 84 per cent and 85 per cent. Current levels fall safely within the range of previous non-flood years.

Rainfall statistics from the Thai Meteorological Department show that 2011 was the wettest year for the Kingdom in 61 years with 24 per cent more rainfall than normal. By contrast, the TMD statistics show that this year’s rainfall has been less than average. The most recent long-range weather forecast is for either normal or below normal levels of rainfall for the rest of the year.

In September the BBC quoted Dr Seri Suphratid, director of the Climate Change and Disaster Centre at Rangsit University, as saying: “I can guarantee that this year the flood will not be like last year. The level in the main reservoirs is much less. They can hold a lot more water.”

Understandably, investors are still concerned, particularly as media images have shown people waist-deep and being rescued from their homes by the military. Yet in less than a year, Thailand’s economy has recovered from the cost of last year’s deluge. Western Digital, which accounts for approximately 45 per cent of global production of hard disk drives, has resumed primacy in the HDD market.

To avert further losses, Honda has joined with other big names like Canon and Nikon in building a 47 mile long (75.6km) wall to seal off their industrial estate from future floods. Companies willing to make that kind of investment to secure their existing sites are unlikely to be contemplating moving out in the near future. However, it also indicates scepticism about the Thai authorities’ ability to protect industrial sites from future flooding.

Of all foreign investment in Thailand, Japanese companies have long been the dominant force. The Thai Board of Investment statistics show that of all approved investment in the first six months of 2012, the Japanese share was 66 per cent.

Thailand’s Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said last month, correctly, that if Japanese companies wanted to leave they would have done so after the floods last year but that 99.5 per cent of the companies involved remain in Thailand.

Mr Kittiratt’s party, Pheu Thai, came to power under the leadership of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra just as last year’s disaster occurred but has been criticised for a lack of direction in defending the country from future floods.

Sukhothai, a city just over 400 kilometres north of the capital, was flooded on Monday when levees along the River Yom were broken by the quantity of water. Local media reported that the Science and Technology Minister and head of the government’s Water and Management Commission, Plodprasop Suraswadi, apologised to Sukhothai residents and said that the breached levees were built in 2001 and may have eroded through years of wear.

Quoted in international media, risk consultants PSA Asia said: “Flooding in several central provinces over the weekend has highlighted a flaw in the government’s flood-control strategy.” Meanwhile, the government has repeatedly reaffirmed its confidence that floods on the scale of 2011 are unlikely and earlier this year pledged $11bn to improve flood defences.

Flooding is an annual occurrence in Thailand. Last year the government was new in office and avoided blame, but one year on even a minor version of last year’s inundation would stir serious doubt over their ability to avert another crisis.

http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2012/09/14/thai-floods-a-repeat-of...

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Pakistan:

Devastating monsoon: Sindh, Balochistan hit much worse than Punjab

While the recent monsoon rains wreaked widespread havoc in Punjab, the situation in Sindh and Balochistan paints an even more dismal picture.

The second day of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)-arranged trip to the flood-affected areas for select journalists, government officials and UN representatives, took the group to two districts in Sindh and three districts in Balochistan.

Briefing journalists and officials regarding the situation in western Sindh, provincial disaster management authority (PDMA) Director General (DG) Hashim Zaidi placed the number of people affected by the floods in the region at two million.

“The floods have pushed people from five districts of Sindh below the poverty line,” Zaidi said.

Zaidi focused his briefing on Kashmore and Jacobabad districts in particular. Talking about confirmed casualties in the two districts so far, he said 21 people were killed in Kashmore, while six were killed in Jacobabad. The number of injured people in both districts stood at 46 and 39, respectively.

A PDMA handout further revealed that another 21 people were killed and 74 were injured in Shikarpur.

Around 90% of all crops in the three districts have been destroyed. Meanwhile, in Jacobabad, 0.2 million houses have been completely or partially damaged by the floods. Around 30,000 families in Kashmore district’s Tangwani tehsil are still stranded at the rooftops of their houses.

In Balochistan, we visited Jaffarabad and Nasirabad districts. While the number of casualties in the districts remains unconfirmed, the briefing by Balochistan home secretary Naseebullah Khan and PDMA DG Tahir Munir revealed that 98 per cent of the people in the two districts were affected by the floods. In addition, 100 per cent of all crops have been destroyed; In Jaffarabad alone, 0.15 million acres of agricultural land remains under water.

An aerial view of the districts revealed both urban and rural areas were inundated with water four to five feet deep. Interestingly, Jacobabad airbase also appeared to be inundated. Several F-16s were seen outside their hangars.

All offices and schools remained closed in the districts. Many clung to main roads and highways, which seemed to be the only patches of dry land in various areas. Locals complained they had no food or drinking water.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Jacobabad district health officer Dr Dara said the situation was likely to worsen in a few days due to possible outbreaks of waterborne diseases.

Unlike Punjab, there was no trace of organised relief effort by the government and NGOs in these districts. Only a handful of trucks carrying relief supplies were seen. The Pakistan Army is so far the only entity carrying out relief operations in the area.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Kashmore president Fida Gilani said NDMA and the federal government had completely ignored flood victims in Sindh.

“There is no relief for three million people in Kashmore and Jacobabad facing the worst kind of disaster,” Gilani claimed.

PPP MNA Ejaz Jakhrani echoed Gilani’s sentiments. “The present government is sleeping,” he claimed, adding that there was no coordination between NDMA and PDMA in dealing with the disaster.

The affected districts’ governments have forwarded their demands to the government. In addition to seeking relief supplies to alleviate the situation, such as tents, medicines, drinking water and dewatering pumps, they have asked for Rs50million in reconstruction funds for each flood-stricken district. They further demanded that the government declare the districts calamity-hit areas.

So far NDMA has announced 2,500 tents each for districts in Sindh and Balochistan.

Meanwhile, federal minister for climate change Rana Farooq Saeed Khan, who was part of NDMA-arranged trip, was supposed to meet President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday night to brief him on the latest flood situation in the country and recommend a course of action. At the same time, President Zardari directed federal information technology minister Mir Changez Khan Jamali, also part of the trip, to oversee the relief effort in Balochistan.

A high level meeting of top officials was also held in Quetta on Thursday to review the overall flood situation. The meeting resolved that the irrigation department will dispatch all machinery to the Kirthar Canal to meet any emergent situations.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/436479/devastating-monsoon-sindh-baloch...

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