Current and recent 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 the rescue of animals and their treatment and provision of food, shelter and water in the aftermath of related disasters.
However, the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011 have seen the heaviest flooding in many decades. In the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Australia’s Queensland province and across Colombia, to name a few, floods and mudslides have killed hundreds of people and left vast areas under water.
Global need for WSPA’s disaster work
WSPA and its local member societies have been involved in rescue and relief operations since the onslaught of Colombia’s floods in November last year. In Australia, WSPA has responded to the calls of its local member society Queensland RSPCA, and sent a disaster assessment and response team to help ascertain 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 centres, 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, leading to huge humanitarian rescue and relief operations.
WSPA team assessing worst affected towns
A WSPA team arrived in the area on 18th January to assess the animal need in the three worst affected towns, Teresópolis, Nova Friburgo and Petrópolis, and to provide assistance to any animals encountered in the operation. WSPA has already received reports of dog fatalities in inundated animal rescue centres, while others are trapped without food.
Flooding in the south Asian island nation of 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 in other disaster situations, please visit our blog, Animals In Disasters.