Russia: solidarity with flood victims in Krasnodar Krai
On the night of 6 July 2012, a flood hit Krasnodar Krai in the south of the Russian Federation. Several areas were affected, the town of Krymsk faring the worst. With thousands of people requiring assistance, the ICRC joined efforts to help them.
Irina Savchenko, who is responsible for cooperation with the Russian Red Cross at the ICRC sub-delegation in Nalchik (Kabardino-Balkaria), explained: "On the day following the tragedy, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Russian Red Cross got in touch with us, asking for support." Since the ICRC has several offices in the Northern Caucasus as well as warehouses stocked with emergency supplies, it was able to deliver humanitarian aid rapidly. The first truckload of emergency supplies reached Krymsk on 10 July.
Irina took part in the delivery: "We passed a number of streets with brick houses completely destroyed, and with fallen trees everywhere. People dressed in whatever was at hand, and covered with dirt, were pulling out from the rubble objects that had become useless. It really does give you a jolt to see a Zhiguli car in the middle of a football pitch, covered with a metre-thick layer of mud."
The ICRC brought in enough emergency items to meet the needs of about 3,000 people. "We provided one kitchen set, one tarpaulin, one jerrycan and 10 candles for each family, and one blanket for each family member," said Irina. "Because our truck was still on the road, we had to hire another and load it with exactly the same items as the first. At the request of the local authorities, we distributed this aid – also for 3,000 people – in the village of Divnomorskoye on 11 July." A third truck arrived in the flood-stricken area on 14 July. All in all, about 9,000 people received assistance.
Everywhere in the world, the ICRC works in close cooperation with other components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (the National Societies and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies), with the International Federation coordinating assistance operations in disasters.
The International Federation has already given over 10 million rubles (over 300,000 US dollars) to the Krasnodar branch of the Russian Red Cross, which has been distributing aid in the flood-affected areas. During the first round of distributions, which took place in Krymsk on 10 July, staff of the Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) and cadets from one of Samara's military colleges lent a hand. "The lads were really putting their hearts and souls into their work, shifting huge bales of blankets, and carrying boxes," said Irina. "It was their concerted efforts that made it possible to complete the distribution in a matter of hours, under very stressful conditions. I was amazed by people's solidarity, especially in Krasnodar Krai. On our way to Krymsk, we saw lots of private cars loaded with food and other items. People were bringing everything they could collect to distribute in the town."
Russian Red Cross branches are working together with the International Federation to ease the situation in the flood-stricken areas. State agencies are also making a major effort. The ICRC stands ready to do its utmost to meet any unforeseen needs and to comply with any requests from partners within the Movement.