Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) Societies, has sent an emergency rapid response specialist team to help victims of tropical storm Haima in Laos.

Dwi Hariyadi, a member of the Rapid Disaster Response Team (RDRT) Specialists, said in a press statement here Thursday that she had been posted in Laos since July 19, 2011, and would stay for four weeks until August 19.

IFRC had spent funds to help 5,000 people or 2,500 families by giving them food and non-food relief aid.

The donation was provided for the storm victims in Borikhamxay and Vientiane.

Storm Haima hit Laos on June 24, causing widespread flooding and landslides in mountainous areas, with the death toll standing at 17 people, including eight in Xieng Khuang province, five in Vientiane province, two in Xayaboury province and two in Borikhamxay province.

Vientiane Times reported recently that with the cost of the damage continuing to mount, the government hopes to mobilize assistance from friendly nations and international organizations to provide relief to affected people.

Laos` Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office Head Vichit Xindavong told the meeting that the storm destroyed more than 300 houses and 6,000 hectares of farmland throughout the country, and devastated critical infrastructure including roads, bridges, schools and hospitals.

Many thousands of people were affected by the storm. The government has mobilised assistance from both the public and private sectors, but the scale of the disaster means they will require international assistance to repair the damages.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2011