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Posts Tagged ‘evacuation’

Evacuation measures only partially effective for annually flooded central region

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 6:37 pm

A host of central residents relocated to resettlement areas have lamented that the policy has left them in less than ideal circumstances, as they now lack land for agricultural production.

Hundreds of families who live close to the sea wait to be resettled in Quy Nhon town, Binh Dinh Province (Photo: SGGP)

In the historic flood of 1999, which severely devastated the central region, the Vu Gia riverside village Phuong Trung was eliminated in Dai Quang Commune, Dai Loc District, Quang Nam Province. The village residents had nothing left as their houses together with other properties were swept into the sea.


Local authorities then decided to build a new village on a hill, 3 kilometers from the old village, to evacuate residents without any plan for farming production. Over the past ten years, people there have lived a difficult life.


Le Thi Kim, 62-year-old woman said that she is single but has to bring up her brother’s two orphaned children and her 86-year-old mother. Everyday, she leaves the village early in the morning to seek any work, including doing housework and taking care of other children in order to buy food.

“I am old now and just wish to have a garden to cultivate rice and vegetables,” she said.


Another village inhabitant named Pham Van Vinh said that he could not raise pigs or chicken as they all die due to the sweltering weather. He said his family earned VND30 million from breeding and selling groceries each year when they lived in the old village.


Also after the 1999 flood, 18 households in Ha Lac Village, Quang Loi Commune, Quang Dien District, Thua Thien-Hue Province were evacuated to a resettlement area. After over 10 years, they continue to experience a rough existence without electricity, paved roads, fresh water or schools. As a result, 14 of the 18 households have left their resettlement homes to return the old village or have traveled to other provinces and cities to earn livelihoods.


Hundreds of resettlement areas have been built in Thua Thien-Hue since 2005, in response to floods and storms. However, several residents have left the new houses to return to their old homes. As a result, the number of people that must evacuate when floods and storms occur still tops 80,000 in the province each year.


Resettlement


Hundreds of tottery houses are found dangerously close to waves that crash along the beaches in Hoai Nhon, Phu My and Phu Cat districts and Quy Nhon town of Binh Dinh Province.


One year after his house was swallowed by ocean tides, Vo Ngoc Van’s family, in Nhon Ly Commune of Quy Nhon town, is still awaiting resettlement.


Van’s house fell into the sea due to heavy rains caused by a tropical low-pressure system that swept through the area in May of 2009. His family has had to live with relatives. He said that local authorities have promised to arrange resettlement for his family, but one year has gone by and they have done nothing.


Most households said they agreed to evacuate from landslide prone areas to new resettlement areas, according to Pham Dung, who resettled at An My Commune in Phu My District. However, life remains difficult for them; to build a new house costs tens of millions, while the State only assists each family with VND10 million (US$526).


Binh Dinh People’s Committee has arranged resettlement for nearly 2,300 households in the province. However, they reported difficulties implementing this plan, due to a lack of capital.


Effective solution


The first flood-prevention houses in the central region were built in Ngu Hanh Son District of Danang City. Each two-story home was built solidly on 300 square meters and include a bathroom, reading room, kitchen and container that can hold 1,000 liters of fresh water.

A flood-prevention house in Ngu Hanh Son District, Danang City (Photo: SGGP)

Last year, when local people rushed to these houses to avoid floods, rescuers easily delivered rice and instant noodles to each house using motorboats.


The Central Natural Disasters Relief Fund has sponsored construction of 21 works to prevent natural disasters in low-lying areas in 10 central provinces and cities, said the fund director Nguyen Dang Lam.


The houses are used not only for avoiding floods, but also for other activities including musical performances, medical checks and treatment and teaching.


The fund will continue financing the building of another 30 works, including 15 flood-prevention houses in the region this year, Lam revealed.


On the other hand, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai from Quang Binh Province said that the State should provide residents with loans to rebuild or reinforce their houses, which would ease the local authorities’ pressure to evacuate residents during storm and flood seasons.

Source: SGGP

Mass evacuation underway as Pakistan floods head south

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2010 at 7:19 am

KARACHI, Aug 6, 2010 (AFP) – Pakistan’s beleaguered authorities braced for a deluge in the country’s farming heartland, evacuating half a million people from at-risk areas in the south as the worst floods in living memory worsened.


The overall number of people affected by the two-week-old crisis has risen to more than four million after the floods washed away entire villages in the northwest, and anger at the government response is intensifying.

Displaced Pakistani families are seen evacuating a flash flood-hit area in Mehmood Kot on August 5, 2010. AFP

With the death toll already numbering 1,500, authorities in the densely populated southern province of Sindh warned that major floods were expected this weekend in fertile agricultural areas along the swollen Indus river.


“We have a target evacuation of at least 500,000 people who live in 11 most vulnerable districts,” said provincial irrigation minister Jam Saifullah Dharejo, saying many towns and villages were in danger.


Further north in Punjab, an AFP reporter Thursday saw an exodus of people streaming out of flooded villages, wading barefoot through water, cramming belongings onto donkey carts and into cars under heavy rain.


“Altogether, more than four million people are in one way or another affected,” said Manuel Bessler, who heads the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Pakistan.


“What we are facing now is a major catastrophe,” he said.


Officials warned that dams could burst as heavy rain lashed the Punjab town of Kot Addu, transforming the area into a giant lake.


“All these villages are dangerous now. We are evacuating the population. Important installations are in danger,” said Manzoor Sarwar, police chief for Muzaffargarh district.


Survivors lashed out at authorities for failing to come to their rescue and provide better relief, piling pressure on a cash-strapped administration straining to contain Taliban violence and an economic crisis.


“Everybody is leaving. We came out empty-handed. We didn’t have enough time to take our belongings,” Ghulam Mustafa, 26, told AFP in Mehmood Kot, a village about six hours’ drive south of Lahore, the capital of Punjab.


Particular scorn has been heaped on the deeply unpopular President Asif Ali Zardari for pressing ahead with a visit to Europe at the height of the disaster.


Although Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said “relief items in sufficient quantity” have been provided, many people say they have received no assistance from the government.


Islamic charities — some with suspected links to extremist militants — have been steeping into the breach on the ground, as international aid steps up.


UN special envoy Jean-Maurice Ripert Thursday visited affected areas in the northwest, where officials say water levels are receding even as the flood surge begins to menace Pakistan’s more populous south.


As Zardari prepared for talks Friday in London with Prime Minister David Cameron, British charities grouped as the Disasters Emergency Committee launched an urgent appeal on TV and radio for donations.


“In the aftermath of the floods, there is a serious risk to survivors from potentially deadly diseases which will spread as a result of contaminated surface and drinking water,” a DEC spokesperson said.


The US government — which warned Thursday that Al-Qaeda’s core in Pakistan remains the “most formidable” terrorist group threatening the United States — has now pledged a total of 35 million dollars in flood aid.


US military helicopter relief missions are going into the worst-hit northwestern regions, the US embassy said.

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Source: SGGP

Evacuation measures only partially effective for annually flooded central region

In Uncategorized on August 3, 2010 at 11:20 am

A host of central residents relocated to resettlement areas have lamented that the policy has left them in less than ideal circumstances, as they now lack land for agricultural production.

Hundreds of families who live close to the sea wait to be resettled in Quy Nhon town, Binh Dinh Province (Photo: SGGP)

In the historic flood of 1999, which severely devastated the central region, the Vu Gia riverside village Phuong Trung was eliminated in Dai Quang Commune, Dai Loc District, Quang Nam Province. The village residents had nothing left as their houses together with other properties were swept into the sea.


Local authorities then decided to build a new village on a hill, 3 kilometers from the old village, to evacuate residents without any plan for farming production. Over the past ten years, people there have lived a difficult life.


Le Thi Kim, 62-year-old woman said that she is single but has to bring up her brother’s two orphaned children and her 86-year-old mother. Everyday, she leaves the village early in the morning to seek any work, including doing housework and taking care of other children in order to buy food.

“I am old now and just wish to have a garden to cultivate rice and vegetables,” she said.


Another village inhabitant named Pham Van Vinh said that he could not raise pigs or chicken as they all die due to the sweltering weather. He said his family earned VND30 million from breeding and selling groceries each year when they lived in the old village.


Also after the 1999 flood, 18 households in Ha Lac Village, Quang Loi Commune, Quang Dien District, Thua Thien-Hue Province were evacuated to a resettlement area. After over 10 years, they continue to experience a rough existence without electricity, paved roads, fresh water or schools. As a result, 14 of the 18 households have left their resettlement homes to return the old village or have traveled to other provinces and cities to earn livelihoods.


Hundreds of resettlement areas have been built in Thua Thien-Hue since 2005, in response to floods and storms. However, several residents have left the new houses to return to their old homes. As a result, the number of people that must evacuate when floods and storms occur still tops 80,000 in the province each year.


Resettlement


Hundreds of tottery houses are found dangerously close to waves that crash along the beaches in Hoai Nhon, Phu My and Phu Cat districts and Quy Nhon town of Binh Dinh Province.


One year after his house was swallowed by ocean tides, Vo Ngoc Van’s family, in Nhon Ly Commune of Quy Nhon town, is still awaiting resettlement.


Van’s house fell into the sea due to heavy rains caused by a tropical low-pressure system that swept through the area in May of 2009. His family has had to live with relatives. He said that local authorities have promised to arrange resettlement for his family, but one year has gone by and they have done nothing.


Most households said they agreed to evacuate from landslide prone areas to new resettlement areas, according to Pham Dung, who resettled at An My Commune in Phu My District. However, life remains difficult for them; to build a new house costs tens of millions, while the State only assists each family with VND10 million (US$526).


Binh Dinh People’s Committee has arranged resettlement for nearly 2,300 households in the province. However, they reported difficulties implementing this plan, due to a lack of capital.


Effective solution


The first flood-prevention houses in the central region were built in Ngu Hanh Son District of Danang City. Each two-story home was built solidly on 300 square meters and include a bathroom, reading room, kitchen and container that can hold 1,000 liters of fresh water.

A flood-prevention house in Ngu Hanh Son District, Danang City (Photo: SGGP)

Last year, when local people rushed to these houses to avoid floods, rescuers easily delivered rice and instant noodles to each house using motorboats.


The Central Natural Disasters Relief Fund has sponsored construction of 21 works to prevent natural disasters in low-lying areas in 10 central provinces and cities, said the fund director Nguyen Dang Lam.


The houses are used not only for avoiding floods, but also for other activities including musical performances, medical checks and treatment and teaching.


The fund will continue financing the building of another 30 works, including 15 flood-prevention houses in the region this year, Lam revealed.


On the other hand, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai from Quang Binh Province said that the State should provide residents with loans to rebuild or reinforce their houses, which would ease the local authorities’ pressure to evacuate residents during storm and flood seasons.

Source: SGGP

New high-rise evacuation product invented in Vietnam

In Uncategorized on June 10, 2010 at 10:42 am

A simulated rescue from a high-rise building using the new Escape device ( Photo: SGGP)

It took developers eight years to invent an individual high-rise evacuation system they named Escape, which has been ordered by many hotels and companies that own and operate skyscrapers.


All the existing systems for rescuing people from high buildings were overly complicated and could only be utilized by trained professionals.


Therefore, to fill the void, Ton That Hoang Hai and Nhan Thanh Ut, two “barefoot scientists”, designed and built a device to escape quickly and safely from high-rise buildings in cases of fire. No special training is required, and the entire process takes less than a minute.


The device, Escape, with a simple structure, assures users that they will survive drops from up to 200-meters (60-storey) building. Mr. Hai said Escape allows for a smooth descent from tall office buildings and can carry five people steadily from skyscraper heights via a secure length of cord.

 

In addition, the special device is cheaper than other available equipment. For instance, a pulley costs VND10million but can rescue only one or two persons per trip, air-beds cost VND300 million but are not safe for the elderly or pregnant women, while Escape fetches just over VND260,000  but can rescue five persons at once from endangered high-rises.


The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Science and Technology agreed to give Hai financial support for the invention as it contributes to decreased human loss when a fire takes place at a skyscraper, according to Dr. Phan Minh Tan, director of the department.

Source: SGGP