Floods in Ulaanbaatar

Second Flash Flood Hits UB, More Heavy Rain

Written by Ch.Sumiyabazar
Friday, July 24, 2009.

Ulaanbaatar was hit by another flash flood after heavy rainfall and hail pummeled the city on Tuesday and Wednesday.

No human casualties have been reported, but Songinokhairkhan district was greatly affected, as well as the previously flood-hit areas of Bayanzurkh and Khan-Uul districts.

In Khan-Uul district’s 12th khoroo –known as Biokombimat area – Mayor of Ulaanbaatar G.Monkhbayar worked with local government officials to evacuate over 2,000 people from the flood-risk areas with the help of army soldiers from neighboring military unit No.132.

The local government reported that it needed Tg1.6 billion to repair the damaged dam and roads, as well as for relocation of families.mSix different areas in the same district – a total of 570 hectares of new land ­­– have been affected.

The local emergency office said four gers have been swept away in the flood after Tuesday’s rainfall.
A floodwater dam, which was being reconstructed after last week’s flooding, was partly damaged, and a main road that connect Ulaanbaatar with Tov aimag was destroyed in areas.

According to the UB Mayor’s Office, there are over 4,100 families residing on non-permitted land, areas close to high voltage electricity poles, floodwater dam, and burial sites, who need to be relocated.

The International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) said that it
allocated US$224,000 from the International Federation’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to support the Mongolian Red Cross Society in delivering immediate assistance of food, warm clothes, blankets, and disinfectant.

“This disaster shows the need for us to be in a position to support the Mongolian Red Cross in disaster risk reduction, including early warning systems,” said Qinghui Gu, IFRC Regional Disaster Management Coordinator for East Asia.

Last week, six people died in a flood that devastated Ulaanbaatar, most of them children. An additional 18 people died in Gobi-Altai province.

“In a population of 2.7 million, that death toll ranks as a significant disaster. Mongolia shouldn’t have to pay this price for its harsh climate and its way of life, which is in a state of perilous transition,” IFRC stated.

The Hydrology and Meteorology Institute is warning the general public that heavy rainfall is predicted to last until July 25, particularly in western and central regions. The institute said major mobile telephone operator companies are working with the agency in delivering early flood warning alerts through their subscribers’ network by SMS.

The Metropolitan Health Authority also warns the public to keep up a sanitary regime by washing hands frequently to prevent the spread of flood-borne diseases. The authority said the soil of flood-hit areas have been badly polluted with flood water that flushed outdoor toilets of ger households.

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