Jan 18, 2011
Flooding of historic proportions in several parts of the world has required the assistance of WSPA and its member societies in various relief and rescue operations.
WSPA’s Disaster Management division is often called upon in the monsoon season of the world’s tropical belt to assist in rescuing and treating animals, and provide food, shelter and water in the aftermath of related disasters.
However, during the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011, we have seen the heaviest flooding in many decades. In Brazil, Australia and Colombia, to name a few, floods and mudslides have killed hundreds of people and left vast areas under water.
WSPA and its member societies have been conducting rescue and relief operations since the beginning of Colombia’s floods in November 2010.
This month in Australia, WSPA responded to the request of its local member society, Queensland RSPCA, and sent a disaster assessment and response team to help determine the animal need. Queensland RSPCA had been coping with the situation, even running a service to reunite animals with their owners. However, faced with unprecedented flooding and flash floods in Brisbane, which forced closure of three of their rescue centers, Queensland RSPCA called on WSPA’s experience and ability to respond in such events, particularly in the rural areas.
In Brazil, the country’s most deadly floods and mudslides to date have devastated mountain towns outside of Rio de Janeiro. A WSPA team arrived in the area on Jan. 18 to assess the animal need in the three worst affected towns – Teresópolis, Nova Friburgo and Petrópolis – and provide assistance to any animals encountered during the operation. WSPA has already received reports of dog fatalities in inundated animal rescue centers, while others are trapped without food.
Flooding in Sri Lanka has also resulted in human deaths and is currently being assessed for any animal need, as are new floods in Victoria State, Australia.
For more information on WSPA’s involvement in these floods and other disaster situations, please visit our blog, Animals In Disasters.