As massive floods ravaged many countries throughout Asia, millions of people were affected.
Flood waters flowed through parts of Pakistan, the Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Thailand. People in these countries are suffering from the effects of the floods, and many lives were lost.
The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction urged governments to increase their investment in disaster risk reduction.
Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, urged countries to install early warning systems, to protect their populations.
“People shouldn’t die because of floods. We have the technology to alert communities before floods arrive. People can be evacuated in time, lives saved and livelihoods protected. Once again, early warning systems are the smart choice and the most efficient of all disaster prevention measures.” – Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Wahlström also expressed concern over the long-term economic impact of floods. Many of these countries lost infrastructure or had it damaged, resulting in the interruption of services. Wahlström has arranged a visit to the affected region.
Damage From Massive Floods
A UN report shows that floods account for a significant damage to public assets each year. Health and education facilities are affected, as are the livelihoods, homes and assets of the people, mainly the poor. These losses are so widespread, and governments are either overloaded by them or commit too few resources to help, that they often do not record the events and their effects. The lack of documentation makes it difficult to decide where to invest in disaster reduction measures.
Examples of Damage
The rains yesterday cause many problems.
Tens of thousands of hectares of rice paddies were inundated in Cambodia, and 300 schools closed after the rains.
“The damage is very serious this year. It is the country’s worst flooding in a decade. More than 17,000 families have been evacuated to higher ground in 12 provinces across the country.” – Keo Vy, Cambodian disaster official.
More than two million acres of farmland are underwater. More than 635 schools were damaged, leaving thousands of children out of school.
Pakistan suffered from widespread floods last year, and this is the second year in a row the country has endured severe floods. The World Food Programme says 5.4 million people were affected. 73 per cent of the harvest has been destroyed, and 36 per cent of the livestock died.
Gaelle Sévenier, a World Food Programme spokesperson, said the agency provided 7,000 tons of food rations to almost half a million people in flood-affected areas in Pakistan. WFP plans to increase efforts to provide food assistance to half a million more by the end of the month.