ACE PROGRAMME PHOTO DIARY SEPTEMBER
September 2018 saw the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme hit full swing, with 17 participants from 9 ASEAN nations beginning their journey towards becoming the next crop of ASEAN disaster management professionals. A wide array of workshops and learning sessions took place throughout September, therefore this volume we bring to you a photo journal of September’s ACE Programme proceedings.
On the 1st week of September, participants were engaged in the Executive Crisis Leadership – Complexity and Strategy course, which was facilitated by Dr. Benjamin Ryan and Professor Deon V. Canyon from the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI APCSS). Later the same week, participants learned about the AHA Centre’s Web Emergency Operations Centre (WebEOC) and Emergency Response Organisation training through a number of table-top exercises. These sessions were facilitated by the AHA Centre’s own Mizan, Grace and Dandi.
Everyday is a learning day at the ACE Programme. This week, participants obtained firsthand learnings from Professor Dr. Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, who led the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency for Aceh and Nias after the 2004 tsunami, as well as from H.E. Ong Keng Yong, the former Secretary-General of ASEAN (2003-2007). The International Humanitarian System and interoperability with ASEAN also took place in the same week, facilitated by United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). The session provides participants with insight and understanding on a range of matters related to disaster management between the UN and ASEAN bodies.
The sessions with UNOCHA continued to the Rapid Assessment course which highlights the practical skills regarding coordinated needs assessments for humanitarian response, including information management, data analysis, and primary data collection. This workshop was facilitated by UNOCHA’s John Marinos. The week was concluded with the Critical Incident Management Pre-Course which exposes participants to hazard classification system, concepts and frameworks of disaster management related to climate change and sustainable development, and continuous to develop basic knowledge of leadership in crisis situations. The course was facilitated by Chris Webb and Michele Daly, disaster management experts from New Zealand.
The fun continues with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) who highlighted the specific needs of women and children in times of emergency. The discussion also covers tips on calculating contraception needs in emergency camps which relates to the following topic: Camp Coordination and Camp Management, facilitated by the International Organization for Migration. Throughout the sessions, participants gained understanding about camp establishment, management, and inter-agencies tasks distribution in providing basic services at emergency shelters.
Written by : Putri Mumpuni | Photo : AHA Centre
MRS. DAM HOA
Mrs. Dam Hoa is one of Viet Nam’s senior disaster managers, and one of the ASEAN region’s leading female figures in the sector. Hoa, as she likes to be called, has spent over ten years working in the field of natural disaster management, now she is working at Science and Technology and International Corporation Departments of the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority (the nation’s National Disaster Management Office – NDMO), working on a range of disaster management projects across the region, as well as supporting ASEAN communities through numerous disaster responses. Through her time in the field Hoa has witnessed the transformation of ASEAN disaster management, directly experiencing the positive changes and improvements that can be witnessed across the region.
Hoa didn’t choose the disaster management path from the beginning. After graduating, she began working with NGOs, such as the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) in Thailand, implementing disaster reduction programmes in Laos, Cambodia, as well as her homeland of Vietnam – and things just built from there. “Vietnam is a country often affected by natural hazards, so when I began to work in this field, I enjoyed the work so much that I just continued” she recalls. She also remembers her first engagement in a disaster response in Vietnam, being on stand-by for 24 hours at a time to provide information from the field to her head office and then back again. This experience led Hoa to becoming an ASEAN-ERAT member, a programme that she sees the importance of, particularly within the ARF Disaster Relief Exercises (ARF DiRex). “I learned so much from these exercises” she states, “particularly related to the civil-military components”.
Hoa’s experience has been a value asset to disaster management in Vietnam, and conversely she has also witnessed the ongoing improvement of disaster management within her country. “Previously we mainly focused on emergency response, but now we are developing some prevention and mitigation programmes” she tells. When she started with Vietnam’s NDMO, prevention and mitigation were basically not much, but things have changed remarkably in the last ten years. Hoa and her office now engage on preparedness programme development with international organisations, alongside efforts in community disaster management, and increased integration, mobilisation and contributions from local authorities. “We also developed a National programme on public awareness rising and community based disaster management for Vietnam, and in 2013 we formalised a law on disaster prevention and mitigation” says Hoa.
Achieving this has not been void of challenges for Hoa and her counterparts, particularly regarding awareness-raising efforts for the rural communities in Vietnam. “Because of our topography, each region has its own characteristic of disaster” she explains, “so the information and how we deliver it can be very different”. Hoa also recognises the different awareness levels and approaches required for the variety of societal groups that make-up Vietnam, including intricacies related to gender, socio-economic status, and also indigenous groups. To overcome such challenges, Hoa believes it is important to promote disaster awareness and preparedness to all people, at all times, particularly for outer-lying communities. Not only in the disaster time, but also in the normal time. “We should maintain communication not only on a national level, but also on a local level” Hoa states. “If people are aware, they can be more prepared and lessen the impact of disaster that can sometimes be amplified due to their remoteness.”
Hoa’s experience of the transformation in disaster management is not limited to Vietnam alone – but is a phenomenon she has seen transpiring across the ASEAN region. Increased awareness, resources and funding have supported the development and advancement of preparedness and mitigation activities, while importantly still ensuring the strengthening of disaster response mechanisms. Much of this advancement, according to Hoa, is due to the establishment of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER). “This base legal document allows us all in the region to facilitate and work together – it is the backbone for our cooperation.” Hoa also recognises the value in both formal institutions such as the AHA Centre, as well as the informal connections that the ASEAN disaster management movement has created across the region.
“If we need something, we can ask someone from the AHA Centre, or as a country we also already have the network to reach-out for information or support.”
Written by : William Shea | Photo : AHA Centre
THE PHILIPPINE DISASTER RESILIENCE FOUNDATION
The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) is a unique organisation, who forms the major coordinating body for the Philippines’ private sector engagement and support on disaster management. The ASEAN region has become increasingly aware of the importance of private sector engagement in disaster management field, as well as the value that such engagement can foster, with organisations such as the PDRF providing strong examples of the strong, responsive and skilled resources that can support the overall disaster management efforts of this disaster-prone region.
Over recent years, the AHA Centre has turned its focus more heavily to the engagement of the private sector throughout its disaster management work, based on the reasons above, alongside the private sector’s own realisation that disaster is something that impacts them heavily – and that they need to do more to support with ongoing efforts. The PDRF mission and work form a solid match with the AHA Centre, therefore their partnership is mutually beneficial on many levels. The partnership was first formalised in April 2017, with Ms. Adelina Kamal, the (then acting) Executive Director of the AHA Centre, and PDRF President Rene Meily putting pen to paper to formalise this valuable agreement.
The PDRF itself is composed from a team of highly committed professionals who work alongside field experts and reputable humanitarian institutions to organise, coordinate, and solidify the commitment of the private sector within overall disaster management efforts. The PDRF has been a leader in effective reconstruction measures that address the needs of disaster-stricken communities, with their programmes developed for post-disaster recovery in key sectors such as shelter, livelihood, education, environment and water, infrastructure, sanitation, and health. Alongside this, they operate their own state-of-the-art operations and communications centre, engage in community resilience programmes, and support the business sector across a range of elements related to disaster preparedness as well as business resilience in the event of disaster.
Within this context, the AHA Centre PDRF partnership focuses towards supporting and advocating increases in public knowledge and awareness regarding disaster management. Through PDRF’s support of One ASEAN One Response, there will be a range of exchanges and knowledge sharing activites, that will be mutually reliant on each other’s assets and expertise, in order to increase and boost the capacity and capability in responding to disaster. In addition, the partnership will encourage private sector and start-up businesses to be more engaged, and share more ideas for disaster preparedness, disaster risk reduction and management, and resilient recovery.
Written by : Valerie Bayhon, William Shea | Photo : PDRF
NATURAL DISASTER TYPES
Situated on the Ring of Fire, the ASEAN region faces one of the greatest threats of natural disaster due to geophysical activity along this active belt of tectonic plates. Following on from volcanoes in the last edition, another key disaster threat categorised into the geophysical type are earthquakes, as well as a range of related disasters that can occur as the result of earthquake activity. Earthquakes are another form of geophysical events that have triggered disasters in ASEAN during recent times. Therefore, understanding the varieties and impacts of earthquakes is important for disaster management across the region.
The AHA Centre receives ongoing information regarding earthquakes as they take place across the region. Considered relatively unpredictable, earthquake occurrences are therefore more often than not the focus of both response and preparedness activities for the AHA Centre team. As with volcanoes, Indonesia’s geographical location sees it experience earthquakes of various sizes on an almost daily basis, with their impact highly dependent upon a range of influencing factors such as force, depth, location and vicinity to human populations and infrastructure.
2018 has seen more than its fair share of significant earthquake events, particularly across Indonesia. A number of major earthquakes during August and September caused widespread death and damage on the island of Lombok and its surrounds, while most recently a 7.4M event shook central Sulawesi, causing not only extreme devastation from the earthquake itself, but a resulting tsunami that has affected millions of people. Other significant ASEAN earthquakes in recent times include:
7.2M quake that killed over 200 people in Bohol, the Philippines 2013;
6.9M earthquake that killed approximately 100 people in Myanmar, 2011;
7.6M earthquake that caused over 1,000 deaths in Padang, Indonesia 2009; and
9.1-9.3M earthquake (and resulting tsunami) with an epicentre off Aceh, Indonesia, that resulted in the loss of over 220,000 lives, and displaced millions across 14 countries, including Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia.
An earthquake, identified by a shaking of the earth, are most often caused by movement of geological fault lines (along the edges of the earth’s tectonic plates) – known as an inter-plate earthquake. The three main types of faults that can result in these earthquakes are known as ‘normal’, ‘reverse thrust’ and ‘strike-slip’ faults. The first two types of fault occur when two plates meet, resulting in movement that is vertical in nature (dip-slip movement). The third, strike-slip faults, are characterised by two plates meeting and sliding past each other horizontally. While most of the earthquakes we experience are related to these naturally occurring faults, earthquakes are also caused by other events such as volcanic activity, or human-induced occurrences such as mine blasts or nuclear testing.
The power of an earthquake is measured by the use of the Richter scale, most commonly used to describe the magnitude (for example 6M or 6MR) and impact of a quake. An earthquake’s impact and force will decrease further from its epicentre, and also depend upon the location and depth of the initial fault occurrence. In general, earthquakes felt with higher magnitude measurement will result in greater damage, with general guidelines shown below.
Aside from being powerful and deadly in themselves, earthquakes also lead to a range of other dangerous natural disasters. Well-known to the ASEAN region is the tsunami, which is caused by shallow earthquakes with an epicentre in the ocean, resulting in giant waves that make their way towards land. Alongside this, the shaking of the earth from a quake can cause landslides in hilly or mountainous regions, as well as phenomenon such as soil liquefaction, which was a major cause of death and destruction after the most recent earthquake in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia..
Written by : William Shea
MONTHLY DISASTER REVIEW AND OUTLOOK
SEPTEMBER | DISASTER MONITORING & ANALYSIS
(DMA) UNIT, AHA CENTRE
GENERAL OVERVIEW OF SEPTEMBER 2018
With the Northwest Monsoon season coming to an end between late September and early October, weather patterns in northern ASEAN will shift from wet with heavy rainfall towards a drier and cooler climate. Occasional storms and thunderstorms may still cause flash floods within certain parts of northern ASEAN. During September, the Philippines experienced Super Typhoon Mangkhut, which passed through the nation’s Northern regions and islands around the vicinity. The typhoon brought about heavy rainfall and triggered deadly landslides, causing significant destruction and devastation to agricultural crops. However, as a result of the changing trade winds, the cyclone season is returning, with increased vigilance required as the likelihood of cyclone formation increases in the Bay of Bengal.
A large number of earthquakes have been recorded throughout the past 2 months. The increased seismic activity has not only been occurring within the region, but also on a global scale. During Week 34 of 2018 (from the 20th to the 26th of August), a total of 232 earthquakes were recorded across the Pacific “Ring of Fire” and its adjacent tectonic plates. Of these recorded earthquakes, 37 (15.9%) were recorded to be M 5.0 and above. Of these major earthquakes (≥M 5.0), 25 (67.6%) occurred within a 48-hour period between the 20th and 22nd of August. Of the 232 earthquakes across the world, 32 (13.8%) were reported within ASEAN region, of which 11 (34.4%) were reported to be M 5.0 and above. The overall increase in seismic activity is currently being monitored by seismological agencies, in the anticipation of increased volcanic activity, earthquakes, tsunamis and other resultant hazards. Nevertheless, during the last few months, the activity of volcanoes in the Philippines and Indonesia have remained within their normal threshold, and have experienced no changes to any of their alert levels.
OCTOBER 2018 OUTLOOK (FORECAST FROM
THE ASEAN SPECIALISED METEOROLOGICAL CENTRE)
The Southwest Monsoon season is expected to transition to the inter-monsoon period around mid-October, and persist for some weeks before giving way to the Northeast Monsoon season in late-November/December.
During the coming weeks, the prevailing south-easterly or south-westerly winds are expected to gradually weaken to become light and variable in direction. A gradual strengthening of north-easterly winds can be expected in the later part of the Oct-Nov-Dec (OND) season. Characteristically, this is accompanied by a southward shift of the monsoon rain-band, which will bring more rainfall over the southern ASEAN region. The northern ASEAN region will experience lighter rainfall as the season progresses, while in equatorial areas, below-average rainfall is forecast to continue for October. Temperature-wise, above-average conditions are expected over many parts of ASEAN, with warmer-than-average conditions expected over the equatorial ASEAN – particularly in Borneo and south-eastern Sumatra.
In northern ASEAN, occasional hotspots may emerge as drier conditions set in toward the later part of the OND season, however, should remain subdued in the early parts due to wet weather. In southern ASEAN, brief periods of dry weather may contribute to increased hotspot activities in October. This could lead to an occurrence of transboundary haze affecting some parts of the region. However, an increase in shower activities with the onset of the inter-monsoon period will help subdue hotspot activities. Isolated hotspots may develop occasionally, but these hotspots are expected to be short-lived and localised. In equatorial ASEAN, drier-than-usual weather could to lead to an escalation in hotspot activities and an increased risk of trans-boundary smoke haze.
The outlook is assessed for the region in general. For specific updates on the national scale, the relevant ASEAN National Meteorological and Hydrological Services as well as Geological Services of ASEAN countries should be consulted.
Written by : Mizan Bisri, Qing Yuan Pang
AHA Centre’s estimation is based on data and information shared by National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs) and other relevant agencies from ASEAN Member States, international organisations and news agencies. Further information on each recorded-significant disaster, description and detail of data and information are available at: http://adinet.ahacentre.org/reports.
ONE ASEAN ONE RESPONSE
FOR TYPHOON MANGKHUT
By mid-September it was all-hands-on-deck in the AHA Centre, with the monitoring team tracking the formation of largest storm cell of the year so far, as it made its way across the Pacific Ocean with a population of millions across the Philippines directly in its path. Communities along the nation’s northern coastline and outer islands were being evacuated, as preparation was well underway for the onset of Super Typhoon Mangkhut (Ompong). On the 15th of September, Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall in Cagayan Province, continuing its path westward with extreme winds and lashing rain, and leaving in its trail over 2.5 million people affected across the Philippines.
Afterwards, a total of 8 provinces and seven cities/municipalities have been announced under state of emergencies, with widespread damage to homes, infrastructure and livelihoods. Typhoon Mangkhut – that had an actual diameter larger than 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan – claimed over 50 lives, with hundreds more injured, and over 180,000 homes either fully or partially damaged. Total damage has been estimated at over USD 6 million, with communities particularly affected by secondary hazards that accompanied the typhoon, such as flooding and landslides. However, was it not for the coordinated effort in the days prior to the storm by the various national and sub-national agencies, alongside communities themselves, loss of life and damage could have been far worse.
“We pre-positioned the Cagayan Valley Response Team in advance, with early evacuation taking place two days prior to the typhoon’s landfall. We also estimated the numbers of people likely to be affected, and provided hygiene kits, non-food items, and generators. These preparedness measures managed to minimise casualties in our region”, explained Mr. Dante Balao, the Regional Director of Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Regional Office II, in Tuguegarao, Cagayan.
Alongside tracking the progress of Typhoon Mangkhut in the weeks and days leading-up to the disaster, the AHA Centre was also engaged with the Philippines Government, through the Philippines’ National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), in both the preparation and response to the storm. At a later stage, the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT) was mobilised to provide information management and assessment report as the emergency phase coming to an end. On the 15th of September, just hours after the typhoon made landfall, the AHA Centre In-Country Liaison Team arrived in the Philippines, to establish direct communication with the NDRRMC in Manila and in affected areas, and to facilitate ASEAN’s assistance to those in need.
In response to the disaster, the AHA Centre mobilised relief items valued at over USD 275,000 to communities across the affected regions, including 30 tonnes of rice, four generator sets, and 2,000 rolls of tarpaulins. During the handover ceremony on September 24th, Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad, the Executive Director of NDRRMC and the Administrator of the Philippines’ Office of Civil Defense showed his appreciation for ASEAN’s support when he stated “I would like to thank and express my deep gratitude to the AHA Centre for facilitating this assistance”.
While Typhoon Mangkhut was a disastrous event for the Philippines and the ASEAN region, it presented an opportunity for the AHA Centre and ASEAN-ERAT to engage on a new element as part of the region’s ongoing efforts to improve disaster management practices. Three ASEAN-ERAT information management specialists were deployed to support the NDRRMC office with data analysis, data visualisation and report writing. One of the ASEAN-ERAT Level 2 members deployed to the Philippines, Adiratna Wira from Malaysia, recognised the importance of information management support for response agencies during disasters. “Aside from the actual products developed, there was great benefit for both the NDRRMC and ASEAN-ERAT members”, said Adiratna. “There was increased understanding in the roles and ways of working for each party, which could speed-up a range of processes and information distribution in the future.”
On the last day of the ASEAN-ERAT’s deployment, Mr. Edgar Posadas, the Director of Operations Service and Spokesperson of the NDRRMC emphasised, “we know that our region is always at risk of disasters, but with neighbours like you and friends like you, we know that things will be moving forward. We are thankful to our ASEAN neighbours and the AHA Centre for your help. The ASEAN region is advancing, we don’t have to go beyond our borders (to respond to disasters), so those beyond the ASEAN corridors can attend to their own disasters. I think it’s a way to go now, everybody is trying to be self-sufficient. We have to be ready should simultaneous disasters are taking place. So, the more capacity that we have and the more prepared we are, the better it will be for the people”.
Written by: Shintya Kurniawan | Photo : AHA Centre