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2 May 2006Afghanistan
Floods caused by heavy rains and melting snow in the northern Afghan provinces of Baghlan and Faryab have killed at least 16 people and left hundreds of families in urgent need of assistance, officials said today. “Flash floods that followed heavy rains killed at least seven people and destroyed 120 houses in the Garziwan district of Faryab province,” Abdullatif Ibrahimi, governor of Faryab, said. The flooding also killed a villager in another district and at least 500 head of cattle, while 2,000 hectares of farm land were washed away, the governor added. Flood waters also killed eight people in Baghlan. Abdurrahim Zarin, spokesman for the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) said that the ministry had sent teams to the affected areas to assess the damage.
4 May 2006 Cyclone “Mala”
Eighteen persons were drowned and 14 others went missing in massive flooding from torrential rains caused by cyclone Mala last Saturday night (Apr 29) in Chaung-sone village, near the town of Kyankin, 192 kilometres northwest of Yangon, state-run newspapers in Yangon reported today. Cyclone “Mala” in the Bay of Bengal struck Rakhine State on Myanmar’s western coast and the Aye-yawaddy delta region in the South, including Yangon.
7 May 2006 Hurricane “Katrina”
More than nine months after hurricane “Katrina”, part of Alabama’s gulf coast is just beginning to return to normal. “Katrina” blew ashore dozens of shrimp boats at Bayou La Batre. Many of them are still stranded to this day, but during a visit to the area today, Governor Bob Riley offered new insight into an upcoming recovery mission. The people of Bayou La Batre have been waiting for nine months to get stranded shrimp boats back in the water. Their insurance companies wouldn’t pay for the project, so Governor Riley worked with local officials to secure money from the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund, which has agreed to pay the $1.6 million bill. “We have finally got an agreement that on May 15th they are going to go ahead and start moving these (boats),” Riley said. About 22 of the original 50 boats that were stranded remain on land. The coast guard will be assisting with the recovery operation when it begins later this month.
4 May 2006 Kenya
Flooding caused by heavy rainfall in Kenya has displaced thousands, submerged homes and killed several people in various parts of the country during the past week, officials said today. The worst-affected areas were the Indian Ocean coastal region and Nyanza and Western provinces, according to Shem Amadi, director of the National Disaster Operations Centre in Nairobi, the capital. He said the government, as well as the Kenya Red Cross Society, were distributing food, shelter material and nonfood relief items to those in need. Eight drowning deaths have been reported since Apr 25. Most of them involved people being swept away when they tried to cross swollen rivers. Five of the deaths were reported in Migori District in the west, and three occurred in Samburu District in the north. In the port city of Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city, torrential rains over the past five days left hundreds of families homeless after their homes were submerged. Amadi blamed the flooding in Mombasa on poor drainage and the construction of homes in low-lying areas, which prevented the runoff from flowing into the sea. “Some of the problems of flash floods are being caused by failure to abide by the building code,” he said. In Kilifi District, north of Mombasa, 3,000 people were displaced after flooding submerged their homes. Hundreds of people sought shelter in churches and schools. Flooding also hit Wajir District, one of the regions most severely affected by the recent drought. An estimated 10,000 people in Wajir moved out of their dwellings when seasonal rivers breached their banks and flowed into villages following heavy rainfall. In Nyanza Province in western Kenya, the swollen Nyando River submerged villages in Nyakach and Miwani divisions, Amadi said. About 45 children had been admitted to hospital in Butere District, suffering from waterborne diseases and malaria. Such illnesses were spreading rapidly because of the rains. Hundreds of people in the Khwisero area of Butere had also been displaced by floodwaters. Other flood-affected districts included Siaya, Rachuonyo, Isiolo and Malindi. Some 3,000 people in the coastal district of Malindi still needed help to rebuild their homes, which were destroyed when the River Sabaki coursed into villages three weeks ago, according to Ruth Muriungi of the Kenya Red Cross Society. Flooding had also destroyed hundreds of hectares of food crops, especially in Kenya’s western and coastal regions.
24 May 2006 Pakistan
A fierce storm has struck parts of Pakistan leaving sixteen people dead and dozens injured. Strong winds and heavy rain caused a great deal of damage throughout many cities in central
22 May 2006 Punjab, India
Eight people lost their lives when a building collapsed in Gujranwala as the storm pummelled the city. Five others were also killed when another building collapsed in Shaheenabad and a girl died in Ballaywala when her house collapsed on top of her. A teacher lost his life in Rahwali as he marked exam papers after a powerful blast of wind smashed windows in the building he was in, leading to shards of glass causing fatal damage. Officials say one other life was lost in Lahore and 13 people received injuries.
22 May 2006 Thailand
Phuket’s disaster prevention and mitigation office has announced this southern province is the disaster area after it was hit by a heavy storm last night, damaging many homes in several districts. The official number of structures destroyed has not yet been announced. Phuket provincial authorities warned local residents in 27 disaster prone areas to brace for possible flash floods and landslides. A number of guest houses, restaurants and businesses in Phuket town were damaged by the storm. Homes in Thalang and Kratu districts were destroyed and large trees fell by high winds. The Andaman seacoast province of Ranong in the upper south issued warnings to at-risk areas in 75 villages alerting residents to possible flash flooding and mudslides after the province was hit by heavy rains.
23 May 2006
Flash floods left thousands of people stranded on rooftops and trapped inside trains in northern Thailand today. At least nine people have died and another 47 were missing in the floods, the result of three straight days of heavy rain, the interior minister said, adding that the number of dead was expected to rise. He said 220 people have been injured. ‘The flooding is severe and the death toll is expected to be high,’ Interior Minister Kongsak Wantana said. Tens of thousands of people were without power in the provinces of Nan, Phrae, Lampang, Sukhothai and Uttaradit. Kongsak said most of the missing were believed buried by a landslide that engulfed dozens of houses in the Lablae district of Uttaradit province. Rescue teams had not yet reached the scene. More than 2,000 people in the same district were trapped on their roofs or in trees, said Nitipat Pimpiriyakul, chief of the provincial Disaster Prevention and Rescue Centre. More than 1,000 passengers were also trapped inside four trains stranded in Uttaradit stations with food running out, said Montakan Sriwipas, a spokeswoman for the state railways. Railway service to northern Thailand has been suspended, Montakan said. Uttaradit is about 280 miles north of Bangkok.
18 May 2006 Typhoon “Chanchu”
A typhoon slammed into south China today, killing 11 people and forcing the evacuation of more than one million, Xinhua news agency said, while Vietnam was still searching for 35 fishermen missing at sea. Typhoon “Chanchu”, which brought heavy rain and winds up to 170 kph, made landfall between the cities of Shantou and Xiamen in the early morning, the Hong Kong Observatory said. China’s coastal provinces of Guangdong and Fujian took the full brunt of the storm. Eleven Chinese had died by this afternoon and another four had gone missing, Xinhua said, quoting the Ministry of Civil Affairs. It had said earlier that eight people, including two children, were killed in Guangdong’s Shantou city, where the typhoon triggered house collapses and landslides. Almost all roads in Shantou were flooded and there were several blackouts, Xinhua said, adding that downpours in Fujian had led to flooding in a number of rivers. Air links, closed yesterday, were resumed and life was returning to normal in Shantou later today as the government officials started to tote up economic losses, it said. State television news said “Chanchu” had been downgraded to a tropical depression and was heading northeast at a speed of 35 kph, but it would still bring strong rainfall to China’s eastern provinces, including its financial hub, Shanghai. In Vietnam, authorities re-established radio contact with six of 11 vessels carrying more than 90 people that went missing yesterday some 160 nautical miles south of China’s Hainan island, then in the storm’s path. “Two more ships have sunk but the crews were safe, so we only have 35 people missing now,” Huynh Chin, deputy head of the Red Cross Association in the central Vietnam province of Quang Ngai.
18 May 2006
As of 1600 today, 77 Vietnamese fishermen missing since Wednesday (May 17) were safely rescued while 17 others have yet to be found, Vietnam’s coastguard reported. The 94 fishermen were on 11 fishing vessels swept away by “Chanchu” some 160 nautical miles south of Hainan island in the path of the typhoon. According to the coastguard of central Quang Ngai province, four of the 11-vessel fleet were sunk by the storm, five others are safely sheltering near a Chinese island and the remaining two vessels with 17 fishermen are still missing. All 77 fishermen from the four vessels that sunk were rescued by other vessels in the fleet, with the National Search and Rescue Centre continuing the search. Vietnam’s authorities are contacting Chinese counterparts to ask for their help to return the victims. All 11 fishing vessles are owned by people in Nghia An commune of Tu Nghia district in Quang Ngai province. Typhoon “Chanchu” swept through the Philippines and left at least 37 people dead last weekend, affecting 53,300 residents in wide areas of Luzon and the Visayas, authorities said.
19 May 2006
The Central Weather Bureau in Taiwan lifted its land and sea warning for Typhoon “Chanchu” after the storm weakened into a temperate cyclone at 1700 on Thursday (May 18), noting that the weather in Taiwan will stabilize today. According to a report issued by the Council of Agriculture, as of 1700 yesterday, losses in the agricultural industry were estimated at NT$107 million, with heavy damage to farms that grow mangoes, bananas, papayas, and watermelons. Some NT$21 million was lost in the island’s fishery sector, mainly on oyster farms in Jiayi County, the report stated. In addition, the typhoon caused damage totaling NT$16 million and NT$12 million to farming and fishery facilities, respectively. Nevertheless, because Typhoon “Chanchu” did not make landfall in Taiwan, the adverse impact on local vegetable farms has been limited, therefore vegetable supplies will remain normal and any price hike will fall within a reasonable margin, COA officials said.
19 May 2006
The death toll from typhoon “Chanchu”, that made landfall in China yesterday, has climbed to 21 as authorities mop up damage worth hundreds of million of dollars. As rains and winds ease, southern China’s death toll and damage bill is slowly being tallied. Officials in Fujian province are reporting half a billion dollars in economic losses. The typhoon destroyed homes, damaged crops and caused landslides and flooding. More than 1 million people were moved from their homes as the typhoon approached. Air, sea and land traffic are beginning to return to normal.
20 May 2006
Asia’s death toll from typhoon “Chanchu” has reached 87, with nearly 200 Vietnamese fishermen still missing at sea, officials said yesterday. The missing fishermen were involved in two separate incidents in the South China Sea. Ten boats were known to have sunk and five were missing. Twenty four fishermen have been found dead and 61 have been rescued, Vietnamese officials said. The storm has battered several areas around the South China Sea since it rose to typhoon strength and killed 37 in the Philippines a week ago. “Chanchu” was downgraded from a typhoon on Thursday (May 18), but it still caused landslides and flooding in China and forced the evacuation of more than one million people. Landslides and collapsing buildings killed 15 people in China’s Fujian province and left four missing, the provincial Water Resources Department reported. Eight more died in Guangdong province, it said. Flooding in Taiwan swept two women to their deaths. A swimmer was killed in southern Japan. Early today, Chanchu appeared to be headed toward northern Japan.
20 May 2006
A Chinese rescue vessel saved 97 Vietnamese fishermen, today, in the South China Sea, and continued to search for other Vietnamese missing in the wake of typhoon “Chanchu”. The Asia-wide death toll from “Chanchu” stood at nearly 90. The rescue vessel also recovered 18 bodies. It was unclear if the 97 rescued were among almost 200 whose vessels sank and who were reported missing and presumed dead by authorities in Danang. Officials earlier said nearly 250 were lost. The rescue vessels provided fuel and provisions to three fishing vessels.
23 May 2006
Vessels carrying scores of survivors and victims of Typhoon “Chanchu” were expected to arrive in Vietnam today, where thousands of anguished relatives waited for news of their loved ones. One vessel carrying more than 80 sailors and at least eight corpses was due to arrive home in the central port of Danang, and three more storm-battered boats escorted by naval vessels were also close to shore, said officials. “The bodies have started decaying,” said Vuong Ngoc Chau, director of the Central Vietnam Search and Rescue Centre. “This had badly affected the surviving fishermen, who are very tired. “We have used a lot of salt to preserve the corpses.” Relatives in and around Danang have waited for almost a week to hear which of the seafarers survived and who perished in the fierce storm that officials say sank more than 10 boats in the South China Sea. The National Committee for Flood Prevention said 11 vessels were sunk and six remained missing. Officials say Vietnam has recovered at least 28 bodies. But, with no confirmed numbers on how many Vietnamese fishing boats were in the affected area off China’s Hainan island and Taiwan when the storm hit, officials have failed to agree even on estimates. Nguyen Ba Luong, of the Danang Border Guard Central Command said the fishing boats hit by the storm had been hundreds of kilometres beyond the reach of the Vietnamese coast guard, but he added that the defence ministry planned to deploy more rescue vessels. China over the weekend found and assisted 22 boats carrying 330 survivors and 21 bodies, near the remote Dongsha island, southeast of Hong Kong. Beijing has since called off the search, state media reported.
30 May 2006 Thailand
The State Railway of Thailand has evaluated that the damage of its lines is worth approximately 92 million baht, and it has expected that the railway will be operational by June 15. Mr. Jitsanti Thanasopon, the Governor of the State Railway of Thailand, revealed that from primary inspection of state rails in Uttaradit and Phrae provinces on May 27, it has been estimated that all aspects of the state rail in these areas have been damaged from rail lines, rail bridges, paving, and machinery, estimated at 66.5 million baht, while the locomotive and bogeys have sustained damage worth 22.7 million baht. The rail governor expects repairs to be completed by June 15th.
30 May 2006
The confirmed death toll in northern Thailand from floods and mudslides has risen to 77 and 38 people remain missing, the Government said last night. Flash floods swept through five northern provinces last week, triggering mudslides that buried homes after torrential rains hit the region the weekend before. At least 500 houses were destroyed and 3000 damaged. The Interior Ministry said the disaster had affected at least 170,600 people, with 1240 evacuated. A spokesman added that floodwaters had receded in four provinces, leaving only one province with high levels.
3 June 2006 China
Rainstorms have whipped through southern China claiming 29 lives with floods and landslides destroying thousands of homes and forcing the evacuation of more than 100,000 people, state media said today. Seven residents of Meizhou city in Guangdong province, just north of Hong Kong, were killed in landslides over the past three days, said Xinhua news agency, which earlier confirmed 22 fatalities in neighbouring Fujian. There were fears worse was to come with another 10 days of heavy rains forecast to drench the provinces south of the Yangtze river, a vast area that is home to hundreds of millions of people, the China Daily newspaper reported. “Maximum rainfall may reach more than 200 millimetres in a few areas,” an unnamed Beijing weather official warned, according to the paper. The non-stop rain, so far 20 percent worse compared with the same period last year, has forced the evacuation of more than 50,000 people in Guangdong, plus another 50,000 in Fujian, Xinhua said. The entire town of Chayang in Guangdong was flooded after officials released water from two reservoirs that had been brimming with water from a month’s worth of precipitation, the paper said. As a result, the streets of Chayang were submerged in four metres of water, forcing 5,000 people to be evacuated. Major rivers have been brought under greater control and early warning systems have been put in place, but flash floods and landslides caused by rains continue to cause major damage.
8 June 2006
A bank of a rain-swollen river collapsed early today in southern China, flooding 11 villages filled with sleeping people and causing an unknown number of deaths and injuries. The river bank collapse in Fujian province came amid what the government calls the worst summer flooding in parts of China in three decades. At least 55 people have been killed in Fujian and two other provinces since late May from heavy rains that have caused floods and landslides and washed away part of a rail-link between Beijing and Hong Kong. Twelve people are missing. Across southern China, at least 378,000 people have been evacuated from Fujian, Guangdong and Guizhou provinces due to floods, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said. Other provinces further inland and to the north have also reported scattered deaths and flood damage. The rains have disrupted transportation, flooded streets and required thousands of police and military officers to evacuate residents by boat.
9 June 2006
Floods and landslides have killed more than 50 people in southern China in recent days, according to official state media. In Fujian province 41 people were killed in floods yesterday, according to the official news agency Xinhua. Mudslides also killed a further 12 people in Wuzhou, in Guangxi region. At least 24 people were injured. The government has estimated that this summer’s floods are the worst in three decades in some part s of China. Heavy rains have already forced more than 400,000 people from their homes. Floods have also destroyed 9,300 houses and ruined crops on some 100,000 hectares of farmland, Xinhua said. Weather forecasters predict there is little relief in sight, with more heavy rainfall expected over the weekend. Early yesterday morning, 11 villages were flooded with water up to two metres deep when the Bashili River in Fujian burst it’s banks. Rescue workers were at the site and 16,000 people had been evacuated, Xinhua news agency said. Heavy seasonal rains have been falling in Fujian in recent days.
10 June 2006
At least 93 people have died in torrential rains that have battered southern China over the past two weeks, state media says. Eleven people are missing and nearly 12 million have been affected by rains, floods and landslides, the China Daily reports, quoting the Ministry of Civil Affairs. Some 560,000 people have been evacuated and economic losses in the region have been estimated to be more than $A1.2 million, it added. Fujian province on the south-east coast has been the hardest hit with at least 45 people confirmed killed since the end of May, it said. The water level in some parts of Nanping city rose to six metres. Rains also lashed the south-western province of Guangxi, killing at east 14 people since Monday and forcing the evacuation of 112,000, the newspaper said.
14 June 2006
A rainstorm killed 19 people and left another 31 missing in Wangmo County, south-west China’s Guizhou Province, the Ministry of Civil Affair s said yesterday. The severe weather hit the county in the past two days, authorities said. The casualties toll may rise as local transport and telecommunications have been seriously disrupted, hampering investigative work. The ministry has sent officials to the county.
16 June 2006
Persistent rainstorms and flash floods in southwestern China have killed a total of 52 people and left another 20 missing, state media reported today. Torrential rains in May and June hit 293 townships in Guizhou province, paralysing local transport and interrupting telecommunications and power supplies, Xinhua news agency reported. More than 30 people died and 2,400 houses collapsed in the worst-hit county of Wangmo where 1,500 hectares of farmland were also damaged, said the report, quoting a local party secretary. The disasters have also caused 1.3 billion yuan (162.5 million dollars) in economic losses, the Guizhou provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters estimated.
18 June 2006
A landslide in a village in the south-western Chinese province of Sichuan has killed 11 people and injured six others, the official Xinhua news agency said today. The landslide happened in the early hours in a remote region near the Tibetan border, Xinhua said. The village of Shiji was hit by almost 100 cubic metres of rocks which destroyed 12 houses and damaged 40 others, cutting off power, water and road links, the agency reported. It did not say what caused the landslide but in recent weeks southern China has been hit by heavy rain.
21 June 2006
Two destructive rainstorms in the past two weeks have killed 21 people and affected at least 4.6 million people in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the local government said today. The two rainstorms, hitting 71 counties of the region between Jun 7 and 10 and between Jun 13 and 15, caused mud-rock flows, landslides and mountain torrents in the cities of Wuzhou and Baise, said a spokesman with the regional civil affairs department. He said the disastrous weather affected at least 4.6 million residents, with another 195,500 evacuated. The civil affairs department has sent five rescue teams to nine cities to help locals reconstruct their homes, he said. Meanwhile, the central government has appropriated 21 million yuan (US$2.625 million) of relief fund, which will be distributed among the disaster-ravaged cities including Wuzhou and Guilin, the spokesman said. By mid June, China’s central government had earmarked 116 million yuan (US$14.5 million) in emergency disaster relief for flood victims in south China.
2 June 2006India
Authorities say the official death toll from lightning strikes and powerful storms in India has risen to 76, as annual summer monsoon rains tear through the country ahead of schedule. Police say lightning has killed three people while three others died overnight after gusting winds wrecked homes at Allahabad, in northern Uttar Pradesh. A total of 32 dead have been reported from Uttar Pradesh alone since May 18, when the monsoon hit India’s Andaman Archipelago and then swirled up the west coast states of Kerala, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Maharashtra Government spokesman Bhushan Gagrani announced 19 rain-related deaths during the week in the western state. “All the deaths were caused due to lightning strikes or collapsing walls,” he said. In Gujarat’s Narmada, Dahod and Sabarkanta districts, six people were killed and four sustained burns in lightning strikes while two teenagers died in Ahmedabad as the first monsoon rains lashed the state yesterday. At least four others died in rain-related accidents in Gujarat.
14 June 2006 Southern Asia
Nearly half a million people have been marooned by flooding in Bangladesh this week, while in neighboring northeast India at least 10 people have been killed by overflowing rivers, landslides and lightning. Officials on the Indian side said today that thousands of people in the state of Assam state had moved to higher ground as rivers, swollen by heavy monsoon rains, burst their banks and inundated more than 50 villages. Police said deaths had been reported over the past two days from western Assam and the neighboring state of Tripura. In Bangladesh, officials said torrents had swept two people to death after the Matamuhuri river flooded several villages at Chokoria, 220 miles southeast of the capital, Dhaka. Thousands of homes, miles of road and hundreds of acres of cropland were flooded in the northeastern region of Sylhet, where the banks of the Kushiara and Surma rivers were both flowing above their danger levels. Disaster management officials said the rivers would rise further as rainwater flowed downhill across the Indian border.
20 June 2006Indonesia
A landslide caused by heavy rain on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island has killed seven people, while another 15 are missing, an official said today. Torrential rains are a regular feature of tropical Indonesia, with deadly landslides a frequent occurrence. Rampant logging often adds to the ease with which hillsides collapse, environmentalists say. The landslide in South Sulawesi’s
Sinjai regency occurred in the early morning hours, Abdul Gani, a communications officer at the Search and Rescue office in Makassar said by telephone. “The landslide has caused seven people to die. Fifteen others are missing,” Gani said. He said two days of rain caused the landslide as well as flooding in several regencies in South Sulawesi province.
21 June 2006
Landslides and floods on Indonesia’s eastern Sulawesi island have killed 65 people and the toll could rise, a police official said today. A search-and-rescue operation was under way after two days of heavy rain in several areas in South Sulawesi province. Sinjai regency was the worst-hit area after major flooding early yesterday, rescuers and police said. “The number of death is 65 and 21 are still missing,” said Tanassang, a police officer from South Sulawesi’s capital Makassar, about 1,400 kms east of Jakarta. Saktianto, an officer with the search-and-rescue team, said many people were feared buried under mud in areas which rescuers could only reach by foot.
21 June 2006
At least 110 people have been killed and a further 100 are missing after floods and landslides triggered by torrential rain struck Indonesia’s South Sulawesi province. The disaster is the latest in a series of similar tragedies to hit the region in the past few months. Amid warnings of further heavy rain in the coming days, authorities are flying in emergency supplies to the affected areas.
21 June 2006
Heavy rains caused floods and landslides on the central Indonesian island of Sulawesi, killing at least 112 people, officials said today. At least 100 more people were reported missing on Sulawesi, which has been battered by incessant rains since Monday (Jun 19), swelling rivers and inundating hundreds of houses. “We are overwhelmed with the bodies here,” said Bachtiar, head of a public health centre in the worst-hit district of Sinjai. TV footage showed people in one devastated village pulling on a rope attached to large piece of wood trying to reach bodies or survivors. Efendi Rajaloa, coordinator of the search and rescue effort in Sinjai, said 104 bodies had been recovered in his district, while about 90 people were missing. Officials reported eight other people killed and 12 missing in four other districts in the region, about 1,000 miles north-east of Jakarta.
22 June 2006
Villagers and rescue teams searched today for survivors on an Indonesian island hit by floods and landslides, as the number of killed climbed to 190, officials said. More than 140 others were missing in southern districts of Sulawesi Island, with many feared to have been swept out to sea, said local government spokesman Annas, who goes by a single name. At least two roads were still blocked by landslides and flood waters reached almost 2-yards high in one district, said rescue official Abdul Malik. In the worst-hit region of Sinjai, 175 people had been killed, while 15 others perished in neighboring regions, said Annas.