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Situation Report No. 2: Flash Floods - 28 April 2014

Highlights

·       10 provinces affected by flash floods, following heavy rain on 24 April.

·       132 Afghans reported as killed by provincial sources, these numbers remain subject to verification.

·       More than 39,000 Afghans have been affected by the floods to date and are in need of assistance; almost 16,000 of these have been displaced. 

·       Across the provinces flood waters have destroyed homes, public infrastructure and roads. Thousands of hectares of agricultural land have been destroyed.

·       The most recent assessments indicate Jawzjan province as the most severely impacted with over 27,000 people affected.

·       Immediate humanitarian needs are for emergency shelter, NFIs, food and clean water. 

Situation Overview

As at 31 March, 11 provinces (nine in northern Afghanistan) had received rainfall between 19% and 55% of their long-term average.  Heavy rainfall resulting in flash floods on 24/25 April impacted 34 districts across 10 provinces of northern Afghanistan.   

As more comprehensive assessments are undertaken in the districts impacted by flash floods on 25 April, a clearer picture is emerging as to the scale and severity of the humanitarian needs of affected populations. 15,988 people have been displaced by the floods across the North, North-Eastern and Western regions of the country; while some 38,955 have been heavily affected and are in need of assistance.  Flood waters have damaged homes, public infrastructure, roads and thousands of hectares of agricultural land. Search and rescue operations by the Afghan National Army (ANA) are continuing, with up to 14,000 people evacuated from flooded areas to date.

In the North, Jawzjan has been the most severely affected province, with Faryab and Sar-e-Pul suffering heavy damage, and Balkh and Samangan impacted to a lesser extent. In the Western provinces of Herat and Badghis, flood waters have affected over 1,000 people and caused damage to infrastructure and agricultural land. In the North–East, the provinces of Takhar, Baghlan and Badakhshan flood waters have impacted over 70 families, affecting several villages.  

On 26 April a joint assessment team consisting of IOM, OCHA, Unicef, UNHCR and WFP visited flood-affected areas of Khwajadukoh district in Jawzjan, which is believed to be the district most severely affected by the floods. Whilst affected locations are widely spread out across the district, initial planning figures estimate up to 16,000 people, (across some 21 villages), have been affected. On 27 April, a humanitarian operational centre was established in Shibirghan (Jawzjan province) to coordinate UN agency activities. The focus of the centre is on analyzing assessment findings and informing response priorities in close coordination with the Afghan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) and the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS).  

The Afghan Government’s Provincial Disaster Management Committees (PDMC) are leading the coordination of the response within their affected provinces, with support from humanitarian agencies. Response is ongoing and so far in hand in 9 of the 10 provinces, response in Jawzjan continues to be ramped up.  Limited access to some of the more heavily affected areas in Jawzjan remains a key challenge. 

ANDMA convened on 26 April and noted that sufficient stocks were available from within Government and humanitarian system stocks to respond to the evolving situation. Afghanistan’s Second Vice-President, accompanied by members of the National Disaster Management Commission, visited affected areas in Jawzjan, Faryab and Saripul provinces on 26 April, committing cash resources from the National Emergency Budget to further bolster immediate response.  The OCHA Emergency Response Fund has also reserved its funds to address any potential gaps emerging.   

Assessments are still underway to determine the full extent of the damage and the scale of humanitarian need. Concurrently, UN agencies, NGOs and the Red Cross movement are working in coordination with local authorities to ensure immediate delivery of emergency relief materials – emergency shelter, NFIs, tankered water, food-stuffs and medical supplies. 

Whilst the immediate focus is on emergency relief, planning is also beginning to focus on post-emergency rehabilitation and recovery in Jawzjan and Saripul in particular, once the flood waters recede.  Both provinces are prone to either too much water or too little with Saripul also devastated by flash floods in May 2012 and the rain-fed wheat crops in both provinces badly impacted by the drought of 2011/12 (Aggregated Land Cover Reference: https://afg.humanitarianresponse.info/visuals/afghanistan-aggregated-lan...). 

Further details of the affected provinces are provided in the table below.

Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
Organization(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
28 Apr 2014
Document type: 
Situation Report
Theme(s): 
Inter-Cluster Coordination
Disaster management
Field coordination
Coordination hub(s): 
National Level Coordination
Disaster(s)/Emergency: 
Afghanistan: Flash Floods and Landslides - Apr 2014