In 1989, the United Nations General Assembly designated October 13 as the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR) to promote a global culture of disaster risk reduction.
The International Day is an opportunity to acknowledge global progress in preventing and reducing disaster risk and losses.
ON SPACE.COM…. let’s look at disasters of 2023 and solutions proffered by Support Groups.
Storm Daniel, also known as Cyclone Daniel, was the deadliest Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone in recorded history, as well as the costliest tropical cyclone on record outside of the north Atlantic Ocean.
Forming as a low-pressure system around 4 September 2023, the storm affected Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey with extensive flooding.
The storm then organized as a Mediterranean low and was designated as Storm Daniel.
It soon acquired quasi-tropical characteristics and moved toward the coast of Libya, where it caused catastrophic flooding before degenerating into a remnant low.
The storm was the result of an omega block; a high-pressure zone sandwiched between two zones of low pressure, with the isobars shaping like the Greek letter omega.
Libya’s vulnerability to such disasters was blamed on its civil war, which damaged critical infrastructure and left it in poor condition before the storm. In the aftermath, several countries along the Mediterranean Sea pledged to provide aid to affected countries.
LIBYA FLOOD – HUMANITARIAN AID
- President Joseph R. Biden announced that the United States, through USAID and the U.S. Department of State, is providing $11 million in additional humanitarian assistance to the people of Libya affected by devastating flooding in the northeastern part of the country.
- The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) announced an emergency appeal for 10 million Swiss Francs to scale up the Libyan Red Crescent’s relief efforts in response to the floods caused by Storm Daniel in north-eastern Libya.
- The humanitarian scale-up continues; 21 humanitarian partners are operating in the affected areas and have reached over 125,000 people.
- China’s emergency humanitarian aid to the flood-hit Libya arrived in the eastern city of Benghazi and was delivered to the Libyan side at a handover ceremony.
- The 90 tonnes of emergency supplies include tents, blankets, life vests, water purifiers, patient monitors, and ultrasound diagnostic equipment.
- Prior to the delivery, the Red Cross Society of China provided the Libyan Red Crescent Society with emergency aid in cash worth $200,000.
On 8 September 2023 at 23:11 DST, an earthquake with a moment magnitude of 6.8–6.9 and maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe) struck Morocco’s Marrakesh–Safi region.
The earthquake’s epicentre was located 73.4 km (45.6 mi) southwest of Marrakesh.
It occurred as a result of shallow oblique-thrust faulting beneath the mountain range.
At least 2,960 deaths were reported, with most occurring outside Marrakesh.
Damage was widespread, and historic landmarks in Marrakesh were destroyed. The earthquake was also felt in Spain, Portugal, and Algeria.
It is the strongest instrumentally recorded earthquake in Morocco, the deadliest in the country since the 1960 Agadir earthquake, and the second-deadliest earthquake of 2023 after the Turkey–Syria earthquake.
A total of over 2.8 million people from Marrakesh and areas surrounding the Atlas Mountains were affected, including 100,000 children.
Following the earthquake, many countries offered humanitarian assistance, and Morocco announced a three-day period of national mourning.
MOROCCO EARTHQUAKE – HUMANITARIAN AID
- The Australian Government provided $1 million in emergency humanitarian assistance to people affected by the devastating earthquake in Morocco.
- The funds will be provided through local organisations including the Red Cross and Red Crescent to deliver immediate life-saving assistance including emergency shelter, first aid, protection and psychological support.
- Wednesday, September 13, Three British Chinook helicopters arrived Morocco from Gibraltar. They assisted the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces mobilized in the villages of the High Atlas, south of Marrakech, which were hit by the earthquake on the night of September 8, which has left an estimated 3,000 dead and 5,600 injured.
- Three countries – Spain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar offered to dispatch search and rescue teams.
The summer of 2023 has seen unprecedented flooding across China as mon-soon season, typhoons and intense rainfall have battered the country.
Beginning July 29, at least 16 cities and provinces in northeastern China experienced record rainfall and flooding due to Typhoon Doksuri, the fifth typhoon in the Pacific in 2023.
Beijing Experienced Its Heaviest Rainfall In 140 Years. The rain exceeded 60% of a typical year’s rain in just 83 hours.
August brought even more extreme rains and typhoons, exacerbating the monsoon season as the entire country dealt with mudslides, flooding and flash floods, putting immense stress on the flood control zones and infrastructure.
Northern China’s terrain is higher in the west and lower in the east, which allows rainfall to usually accumulate on the western side of the North China Plain and drain eastward into the ocean.
On Sept. 2, Typhoon Saola hit southern China, prompting the evacuation of more than 880,000 people.
CHINA FLOOD – HUMANITARIAN AID
- The local government mobilised various rescue forces to relocate residents, repair roads, and restore power and communication to resume people’s normal lives as soon as possible.
- The China Red Cross Foundation (CRCF) responded through the distribution of drinking water bottles in evacuation centres.
The 2023 tornado season has been busy, with at least 1,310 preliminary reports of tornadoes and 1,159 tornadoes already confirmed in 2023 within the U.S. as of Sept. 26.
There were 128 in January, 56 in February, 195 confirmed in March, 160 in April, 126 in May, 210 in June, 83 in July and 65 so far in August. This total does not include all the tornadoes, as some still are in the investigative stages.
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The first three months of 2023 exceeded the average, but April and May were below average.
January 2023’s total is the second-highest on record. February’s tornado total is one of the highest in recent years and the 10th most active on record.
Combined, January and February were the fourth-most active months on record. March was the fifth-highest on record, and the fifth consecutive year with a violent tornado, tying the record from 1963 to 1967.
June exceeded the average of deaths for the month after the storms on June 15.
More than half of the mainland states have experienced tornadoes, from California to Delaware and from Wisconsin to Texas. As of the end of the March, the estimated cost of the damage had reached $529.75 million.
When looking at fatalities, 2023 is stacking up to be one of the highest on record for the U.S.
In 2011, 553 people died in tornadoes, many in Joplin, Missouri. With 75 deaths this year is already within the top 10 for deaths. This is already three times higher than 2022.
U.S. TORNADOES – HUMANITARIAN AID
- AmeriCares, a health-focused relief and development organization, has deployed an emergency response team that has begun their work in the heavily impacted areas in and around Mayfield, Kentucky.
- CARE an international aid organization based in Atlanta, has provided water, food, shelter, and cash assistance to the families affected by the tornados.
- Feeding America is committed to providing meals, water, and supplies to Kentucky and Arkansas’s heavily impacted areas.
- The Salvation Army teams of personnel are providing meals to residents, first responders, and volunteers in Mayfield, Kentucky, a town that was directly in the path of the storms.
- Direct Relief works in the U.S. and Teams continue a multi-state tornado response focusing on delivering essential medications to cold storage, such as antibiotics and insulin.
On February 6 2023, at 04:17 TRT, a 7.8 earthquake struck southern and central Turkey and northern and western Syria.
The epicenter was 37 km west–northwest of Gaziantep.
The earthquake had a maximum Mercalli intensity of XII (Extreme) around the epicenter and in Antakya. It was followed by a Mw 7.7 earthquake at 13:24.
This earthquake was centered 95 km (59 mi) north-northeast from the first. There was widespread damage and tens of thousands of fatalities.
The Mw 7.8 Earthquake Is The Largest In Turkey Since The 1939 Erzincan Earthquake Of The Same Magnitude, And Jointly The Second-Largest In The Country, After Larger Estimates For The 1668 North Anatolia Earthquake.
It is also one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded in the Levant. It was felt as far as Egypt and the Black Sea coast of Turkey.
There were more than 30,000 aftershocks in the three months that followed.
The seismic sequence was the result of shallow strike-slip faulting along segments of the East Anatolian and Sürgü–Çardak faults.
The confirmed death toll stood at 59,259: 50,783 in Turkey and 8,476 in Syria. It is the deadliest earthquake in what is now present-day Turkey since the 526 Antioch earthquake and the deadliest natural disaster in its modern history.
TURKEY-SYRIA EARTHQUAKE – HUMANITARIAN AID
- Albania dispatched 88 medical personnel, search and rescue specialists, and 9 specialized vehicles to Turkey. Additionally, Albania pledged 1 million euros in support of humanitarian relief.
- Bangladesh sent a 46-strong medical and rescue team to Turkey along with the rescue equipment, medicine, tents and food. The rescue team includes 24 members from the Bangladesh Army, 12 personnel from the Bangladesh Fire Service & Civil Defence and 10 medical professionals along with one journalist.
- The government of Hong Kong dispatched a 59-strong team and two rescue dogs to Turkey to help search for survivors.
- France pledged €12 million in aid for Syrians, distributed through the United Nations and non-governmental organizations.
- The Government of Guyana donated US$100,000 for humanitarian aid to earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria.
- Turkish embassy in Nigeria announced sent important needs like winter clothes, blankets, tents, bed mattresses, foods, etc. to Turkey. Nigeria also pledged $1 million for Turkey-Syria earthquake donation.
- Oman operated an air bridge to transport relief aid and medical supplies to Turkey and Syria. A search-and-rescue team was also dispatched to Turkey.
The 2023 Maui fire ranks among the top 10 deadliest U.S. wildfires on record since 1871, according to the National Fire Protection Association. It is also the deadliest natural disaster in Hawaii’s history, surpassing the deadly tsunami in 1960.
Authorities revised the death toll to 97, down from the previously reported 115, with 99% of the Lahaina disaster area searched, as of September 15, 2023.
Officials are keeping an updated list of missing people and are asking for the public’s help in this search for information.
Hawaii Governor Josh Green estimates the damage from the fires at nearly $6 billion.
Hurricane Dora, a Category 4 storm, had moved across the Pacific Ocean hundreds of miles south, generating high winds on the islands and fueling at least three fires on Maui on August 8.
The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 14 people who ran into the ocean to escape the fire and smoke, according to Maui County officials.
The wildfires displaced thousands of people, while over 12,000 Maui residents lost power, and communications were knocked out. http://www.ln247.news
MAUI FIRE – HUMANITARIAN AID
- More than 1,300 trained Red Cross disaster workers have deployed to Hawaii or helped virtually.
- Together, the Red Cross and the county government have provided more than 257,000 overnight emergency shelter and hotel stays on Maui and Oahu.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced last week $1.3 million funding allocation to help communities on Maui in the wake of the wildfires through the department’s new Rapid Unsheltered Survivor Housing (RUSH) program.
- Maui Food Bank: Collecting and distributing food to help the hungry in Maui County.
- The Salvation Army Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division: Providing food and resources for evacuees.
- World Central Kitchen: Providing meals to people in need by partnering with local organizations.
- Hawaii Lions Foundation: Matching up to $25,000 in donations for Maui disaster relief efforts.
Disaster management aims to reduce, or avoid, the potential losses from hazards, assure prompt and appropriate assistance to victims of disaster, and achieve rapid and effective recovery.
The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is an opportunity to celebrate the advancements made in lowering the impact of disasters and the resulting losses of health, lives and livelihoods.
So far, more needs to be done to achieve this.
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