Round-up: Updates from Iran and Japan

By Katie Robinson, Red Cross insider

The Round-up offers a weekly sample of what our sister Red Cross Societies are working on around the world.

Flooding in IranIRAN: Torrential rain spread across Iran from the morning of April 13 until the weekend, wreaking havoc across the country. These flash floods have inflicted serious damage across 12 provinces, with Lorestan and Ilam in the west, Kurdistan and Kermanshah in northwest, and Khuzestan in the southwest, being among the worst-hit.  Local Red Crescent branches and volunteers were among the first to provide assistance. Monitoring the evolving disaster from its emergency operations center, the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran activated its emergency response system when floodwaters continued to rise. Trained teams were immediately dispatched to flood-hit areas.  During the first 48 hours, 138 Red Crescent teams made up of over 550 rescuers and relief workers were involved in the response. Over the following days, this increased to over 1,300 staff and volunteers. Six of the National Society’s helicopters were deployed to enable rescue teams reach and evacuate those who had been cut off by the rising waters, including transferring casualties directly to hospitals. Over 260 vehicles also brought relief items and water pumps to the affected regions. Relief operations are ongoing in more than 40 cities and towns.

JAPAN: Red Cross emergency medical teams are still providing medical services to people living in evacuation centres in the small town of Mashiki in Kumamoto which was badly affected by the two earthquakes that struck the prefecture on April 14 and 16.  The evacuation centre in Mashiki sports centre is the biggest in the town, now providing shelter to more than 2,000 people. For thousands of families it is still very difficult to return home, because their houses have no electricity or water, and many structures are badly damaged.   Staff members in all emergency response teams at Japanese Red Cross Branches have been trained to provide psychosocial support in disaster situations and have been prioritizing medical relief and other life-saving services.  Twenty Japanese Red Cross mobile medical teams are working around the clock providing medical care in all affected regions, and as of April 18, the Red Cross hospital in Kumamoto city has treated more than 2,000 patients.
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