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27 November 2011

Weekly Hamnet report for 27 November

Mudslides in Columbia, flooding in Pakistan and the onset of winter in Turkey are cause for concern.

Thirty seven people died after a mudslide in Columbia swept through a small town after days of torrential rain. Rescue workers worked through the night last Saturday to pull survivors from the carnage left by the slide.

Three months after the worst floods in history of the southern parts of Pakistan, many millions of people still remain displaced due to damaged and destroyed houses in the region.

It is estimated that at least 800 000 homes were severely damaged and at least 330 000 were totally destroyed which is the cause of thousands upon thousands of tons of relief equipment being distributed in the area.

We are looking at over 125 000 blankets, 110 000 jerry cans for water supplies, over 100 000 sleeping bags, 75 000 kitchen sets and 0ver 7000 tool kits to assist in rebuilding efforts.

One wonders how South Africa would cope under such severe disaster conditions.

In Turkey, where winter has now set in, the Turkish Government has now asked for a second international assistance in the form of winterized tents and prefabricated houses to respond to the two earthquakes that hit Van earlier this month.

The first occurred on the 9th of November with a magnitude of 5.6 on the Richter scale and the 2nd a few weeks later measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale.

We have had reports of people having lost everything – being their homes and the content of their homes and having to move to family and friends in other parts of the country until such time as they can return to rebuild their lives.

The number of search and rescue personnel involved number over 5200, medical personnel almost 3000, 34 search dogs, over 700 units of construction machinery to clear rubble, 11 mobile hospitals, almost 72 000 tents and so the list goes on! A monumental task to say the least!

Locally, summer rains have eventually arrived and in some places with a vengeance accompanied by strong winds and hail.

Hamnet members should remain on the alert for any possible call out due to flooding and other natural disasters.

Reporting for Hamnet, this is Francois Botha – ZS6BUU.