Monsoon rains have brought heavy flooding in several countries across Asia, leading to dam collapses, rivers overtopping their banks, landslides and mudslides. Millions of people have been displaced in Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Pakistan, Nepal, South Korea, Turkey and Vietnam.
Monsoon season occurs every year in Southeast Asia from June to October. In recent years, it has been arriving earlier accompanied by increasingly heavier rainfall. While countries affected by the monsoons are prepared on an annual basis, the intensity is making it more difficult for them to respond without outside assistance.
In the South Asian area of India, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal alone, more than four million children have been impacted. Overall, 700 have died across the region with dozens of others still missing, swept away in flash floods, mudslides and landslides.
A great many countries and tens of millions of people have been affected by the monsoons. CDP will be updating this section to reflect the most urgent needs on severely impacted areas.
In Indonesia, the impacts have been felt in Southeast and South Sulawesi provinces, West Papua Province, Central Java and West Sumatra. Nearly 1.4 million people have been affected, dozens have died and more are missing. In Southeast Sulawesi Province alone 1,671 houses were damaged but overall, more than 500,000 people have lost their homes.
In China, the rain began in June and has already affected 40 million people. There is a great deal of flooding along the Yangtze River and significant concerns about the Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydroelectric powerplant in the world. On Sunday, July 19, authorities blew up a dam on the Chuhe River to help mitigate flooding. More than 400 rivers have overflowed and the economic toll so far is estimated at $9.2 billion (64.4 billion yuan). At least 28,000 homes have collapsed. In July alone, more than 15 million people were evacuated.
In India, nearly seven million people have been impacted in several regions. New Delhi experienced its first heavy rains on Sunday, July 19 with almost 4 inches (100 mm) falling in one day. Comparatively, from June 1 to July 18 slightly more than 3 inches (80mm) fell across the city.
In Japan, the island of Kyushu was hit the hardest in early July but other areas were also affected. In southwest Kyushu, over 15 inches of rain fell in six hours. Officials have ordered the evacuation of more than 3.5 million people, about one-quarter of the island’s population. Close to 60 people on Kyushu died or were missing; many of those killed were seniors at nursing home facilities.
- The agricultural industry has been hard hit. The impact of the pandemic has meant farmers were unable to sell the usual amount of their winter crops. There is a labor shortage and seeds/starter plants have a much higher cost than usual, which significantly impacts smaller farmers.
- Immediate needs are particularly urgent because of COVID-19. There is a high need for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) – particularly sanitation and hygiene facilities. Shelter facilities need to maintain social distancing including safe places for children to play.
- Health care and mental health care are critical. While these issues are always important after any disaster, the added stress of relocation during COVID-19 is problematic. Additionally, it is important that underlying health conditions continue to be treated during evacuation.
- There needs to be a focus on the ongoing and on the long-term recovery needs. These include loss of income, rebuilding of homes, grief and bereavement.
CDP / Balkantimes.press