Red Cross Red Crescent situation report
Torrential rainfall in Suriname since the beginning of May has caused flooding in the interior of the country, and approximately 25,000-30,000 square kilometres are currently under water. It is estimated that 25,000 people have been affected by the rising water levels, with the most severe damage occurring in the southwest and centre of the country. Currently, 157 villages in the remote lowlands, where most families live in thatched-roofed houses, have been affected, and at least three deaths have been reported. The city of Leydorop, which is 20 kilometres south of the capital city of Paramaribo, has already registered 480 millimetres of rain, and the rains are expected to continue through the next 72 hours. Although the situation has remained stable thus far, with no reported security issues, it is expected that the situation may worsen if flooding continues and food and fresh water supplies become
The government has declared the affected areas, mainly the southwest and central lowlands, a disaster zone, and the Suriname military has been deployed and is currently in the process of moving people to higher ground.
Although it is reported that medical facilities in the affected areas are still operational and radio communication links with the capital have been maintained, the government has called the disaster “unprecedented” and has begun an assessment of the situation to determine a plan of action.
Red Cross and Red Crescent action
The Suriname Red Cross (SRC) has participated in the joint government/military assessment and offered its services to the national disaster coordination centre, with which they are maintaining daily contact. Currently, the SRC has several Regional Intervention Team (RITs) members on stand-by, including: two specialized in water and sanitation, two specialized in logistics, two specialized in IT and telecommunications and two general RITS members. The National Society also has relief items available in stock. RITs members are currently awaiting the conclusions from the disaster assessment in order to define and specify disaster response needs.
The director general of the Suriname Red Cross has been contacted by the Netherlands Red Cross, who has offered assistance through the Federation, and the government has indicated that they may request the SRC to receive and control all donated relief items. The director general has agreed to the government’s requests and is currently asking for Federation support to ensure an efficient disaster response. The director general has also indicated a possible request for water purification tablets and technical water and sanitation support. The SRC is maintaining contact with the Federation’s Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU), which is on standby to deploy personnel and relief items, should the need arise.
For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:
In Suriname: Glenn Winjgaarde, Director General, Suriname Red Cross, Paramaribo; email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone (597) 498-410, fax (597) 464-780
In Trinidad: Thomas Doyle, Disaster Management Delegate, Pan American Disaster Response Unit, Port of Spain; email email@example.com, phone (868), fax
In Geneva: Luis Luna, Federation Regional Officer, Americas Department, Geneva; phone 41.22.730.4274; fax 41.22.733.03.95; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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