IFNet Newsletter October 2011 issue
Oct. 26. 2011 / IFNet secretariat


MAJOR FLOODS on October 2011

1. Water-related disasters in Asia

- The floods due to monsoon rains since July and storms in recent weeks have hit Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. The overwhelming influences are gradually turning down the corner of crisis, except Thailand that has been forced to cope with the flood threats. Prolonged monsoon flooding, typhoons and storms have killed hundreds of people across Southeast Asia, China, Japan and South Asia in the last four months.


1-1   Floods in Thailand 

-       So far, about 360 people have been killed in Thailand, and more than 8 million people in 60 of Thailandfs 77 provinces have been affected by floods and mudslides. Over 30 provinces are currently inundated, and more than 4 million acres of farmland has severely been damaged.

-       The 6 industrial estates, north of Bangkok (only 2 meters above the sea), have been inundated. Many manufacturing factories have in some ways been forced to suspend production due to the facility damage or disruption of supply chains.

-       The risk of Bangkok being far and widely flooded is very high this time as there is three main casual factors; the massive runoff water coming from the flooded Northern provinces: additional rains forecast by the end of October: and high sea tides expected between October 13-17 (properly evaded) and October 26-31, impacting the water flow from the Chao Phraya River into the Gulf of Thailand.

-       Some 75kms of sandbags have been laid to reinforce the 77kms dike along the Chao Phraya River to prevent the capital being flooded, but some parts of the city were unexpectedly inundated, due to the overflowing of a canal running through the city. At present, the inflow of the surrounding water into the metropolitan area has been introduced by opening the east and north watergates for three canals of the city to prevent the breaking of the enclosing dike of the Bangkok metropolitan area.

-       In spite of the efforts of Bangkok, the Dusit and some central areas in Bangkok metropolitan were unfortunately inundated at some1.5-0.4 meters on October 22, due to the partial breakings of Chao Phraya Riverbank.

-       As of October 20, the extent of total flood damage for this time has been estimated to run into US 2 billion dollars, with about 30 % of Bangkokfs industrial zone underwater and fear of economic growth which could be cut by more than 1.5%, the Bank of Thailand may put rate-rises on hold after seven such increases.







    Satellite images could increasingly be used extensively and effectively in Flood-disaster prevention as well as River-management, River-planning, River-improvement, Water resources-management, etc.

-     UNOSAT/Inundation image of Thailand


-     Google/Crisis Response


-     Thaiflood.com/Thai Flood Reporters (linking with Google)



1-2  Floods in the Philippines 

-       Massive flooding in the Philippines brought about by back-to-back typhoons might exert a serious influence for a month, even as the stormsf death toll reached more than 100.

-       Many of them were washed away by flood waters or killed during the typhoons by strong winds topping walls and trees. Although the storms passed, a low-pressure area, hovering over the country, caused rain to fall on areas already inundated by the two typhoons.

-       Waist-deep floods left behind by typhoons Nesat and Nalgae, followed almost the same route, were made worse by continued rain on the coastal areas north of Manila. Nesat slammed into the northern part of the Philippines on September 27, followed by Nalgae just five days later, bringing storm surges, flash floods and landslides.

-       Damage from the two storms was estimated at about US 322 million dollars, which figure is certain to rise.

-       The worst flood in five decades hit the coastal area of the Metro Manila. The coastal highways were severely affected by the flooding and overtopping waves, and the transportation facilities, hospitals, hotels and even the US Embassy, located at the relevant area, were seriously inundated, too.

-       More than 67,000 people were forced to remain in evacuation centers across more than 40 provinces in Luzon, most of them in low-lying agricultural areas, where rivers and tributaries overflowed with heavy rains.





2. Updated information about the Great East Japan Earthquake

- Seven months passed after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism announced, as per October 17, the present status of gthe Restoration of main Transport Facilities in the TOHOKU-districts and related areash. Most of the Transport Facilities on land areas have already been restored after 1-1.5months, except the port and harbour-facilities, violently hit and overwhelmed by the Tsunami, of only 61%.

13 Airport (Tohoku districtfs APs, Ibaraki AP, Haneda AP, Narita AP and Niigata AP) are under the normal condition.

Express Highway such as Tohoku Expressway and Joban expressway have already been recovered.

99% of the National Roads (No.4, No.45, and No.6) have been recovered within Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima Prefecture

100% of the Shinkansen/ New Trunk Lines (Tohoku-Shinkansen, Akita- Shinkansen, and Yamagata- Shinkansen) have been recovered and under the ordinary operation.

However, the precautious zone (16.4km) of above transport lines is out of service due to Fukushima atomic power plant


3. Information on IDI-related activities: Planning to participate the ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee-Integrated Workshop on gDamage Assessment Methodology and Pre-Assessment of Typhoon Landfall Impacth

-     The workshop will be held from 7 to 11 November 2011, in Nha Trang, Viet Nam, organized by the Typhoon Committee Secretariat (TCS) and the National Hydro Meteorological Service (NHMS) of Viet Nam.

-     In collaboration with MLIT of Japan, IDI has been contributing to the TS workshop such as intitiating the flood hazard mapping project. At the plenary session in the morning of the first day, November 7, it is planned to have the opportunity to present about the development of Global Flood Alert System (GFAS).

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