Tuesday, 27 February 2024 / Published in Insight



Since the inception of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) in 2009, the ASEAN region has been dedicated to enhancing its disaster management capacity. This commitment was further demonstrated at the ASEAN Workshop on the Development of the Capacity Building Roadmap on 24-27 October 2023 in Singapore.

Hosted by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), the event was attended by 20 (twenty) representatives from the ASEAN Member States (AMS), UNOCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies), and the AHA Centre, who gathered to develop preliminary Roadmap Strategies and define strategic pillars for ASEAN capacity building.

The Workshop opened with an overview of the Strengthening Institutional Capacity of AHA Centre Project (SICAP). This 2-year initiative implemented by the AHA Centre and supported by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), aims to strengthen the institutional capacity of the AHA Centre, the ASEAN Secretariat, and the National Disaster Management Offices (NDMOs) of the AMS to enhance regional disaster management and emergency response coordination.

Participants were then stimulated with a visioning exercise, where they shared the visions and strategic directions of their respective countries and organisations, a step that proved crucial in aligning regional goals and strategies. This continued with a mapping exercise that listed the available training and capacity building initiatives undertaken in each country over the past five years, providing an overview of the region’s capabilities and needs. The day then ended with a visit the SCDF’s Civil Defence Academy (CDA), where they gained insight into the CDA’s simulation exercises as well as an overview of its capacity building strategies and techniques.

On Day 2 of the Workshop, Consultant for the SICAP project Management for Development Foundation (MDF) presented the main findings of the Impact Study on past capacity building efforts, that was then discussed in groups for feedback. As a follow up to this, on Day 3 participants brainstormed to identify the capacity building needs of ASEAN to build a resilient community.

The 4-day Workshop culminated in the identification and concurrence of four (4) strategic pillars that will shape the way forward for capacity building in ASEAN by participants. These include the enhancement of coordination for capacity building, enhanced access to knowledge and information, enhanced professionalism through standards, standardisation and (re-) certification, and individual and organisational impact of capacity building.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Krishna Putra Tanaja, Deputy Executive Director of the AHA Centre, emphasised the importance of drawing upon the knowledge and experiences of the AMS and stakeholders to map a strategic direction for ASEAN capacity building. “The support of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), along with our partners, has been instrumental in our progress,” he added.

The ASEAN Workshop on the Development of the Capacity Building Roadmap on Disaster Management will help make significant strides in advancing the ASEAN region’s disaster management capabilities. Through collaborative analysis and strategic planning, the workshop has laid down a comprehensive preliminary roadmap for enhancing ASEAN preparedness in the years to come. The Capacity Building Roadmap on Disaster Management is targeted to be completed by February 2024.




Written by: Gladys Respati | Photos by: AHA Centre

Tuesday, 27 February 2024 / Published in Monthly Disaster Outlook



For the month of October 2023, a total of 77 disasters were reported in the ASEAN region. The number of reported occurrences was 2.8x less than the number of reported disasters in October of the last year. The ASEAN Member States affected for October 2023 were Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Viet Nam. Majority of the disaster (62.34%) occurred in Indonesia and accounted for 86.48% of the affected persons (about 320K persons) and 66.75% of affected houses (around 11.35K houses) for this reporting period. The share of the affected people for the ASEAN Member States are as follows: (1) Indonesia – 86.48%, (2) Viet Nam – 5.31%, (3) Philippines – 4.70%, (4) Myanmar – 3.29%, and (5) Malaysia – 0.23%. With the decrease in the number of significant disasters in October 2023, 54 per 100,000 people* were affected which was about 4x less than the number of affected persons last month. Meanwhile, about 3 per 100,000 people* in the region have been displaced, which was 1.6x less compared to the previous month.

Out of the total disasters in October 2023, flood accounted for the highest percentage of occurrence at 40.26%. Flood had been consistently the most recorded type of disaster in the region but the recorded floods for October 2023 is 1.9x less than the five-year average (2018-2022) for October and 4.9x less than the flood incidents in October of the last year. Wind disasters ranked second with 20% of the reported disasters in October 2023. The reported floods and wind disasters were generally attributed to continuous rains and strong winds associated with the monsoons and enhanced by two tropical cyclones (Tropical Cyclone KOINU and SANBA) that passed by the region and affected the Philippines and Viet Nam at the start and in the middle of October 2023. While floods had been the most recorded disaster for this period, drought, which accounted for 18.18% of recorded disasters in October 2023, had the most number of affected persons at 74.90% (about 277K persons) in Indonesia. The decreasing rainfall and water supply were associated with the effects of El Niño that had affected the region, particularly in the southern portions of the equatorial line. The reported droughts for this reporting period was 14x more than the five-year (2018-2022) average for the month of October. Overall, compared to the historical data (average for October 2018-2022), the available data on the disasters and associated impacts for the month of October 2023 indicates 1.19x less reported disasters, 9.4x less affected people, 5.9x less people internally displaced, 9.6x less houses affected to some extent, 8.5x less lives lost, and 27.8x less people suffering injuries.



Geophysically, 26 significant earthquakes (Magnitude ≥ 5.0) were reported by Indonesia’s Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi dan Geofisika (BMKG) and the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) for the period of October 2023.

Mounts Ibu (Alert Level II), Semeru (Alert Level III), Dukono (Alert Level II), Ili Lewotolok (Alert Level II) in Indonesia and Mayon (Alert Level 3), Taal (Alert Level 1), and Kanlaon (Alert Level 1) in the Philippines were reportedly tectonically active (erupting lava or releasing gas or generating seismic activity) throughout the month of October 2023.

On 12 October 2023, PHIVOLCS released a notice of increased and continuous degassing activity from Taal Volcano with 9,762 tonnes/day of volcanic sulfur dioxide gas emission from Taal Main Crater. This was the highest recorded SO2 emission from Taal for the year 2023 at the time, which was 2.6x the average SO2 emission of 3,781 tonnes/day since September 2023. According to PHIVOLCS, the prevalence of Alert Level 1 indicated that Taal remained in abnormal condition and may cause sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfalls and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas.

*computed based on 2023 population data from worldometers.com



According to the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), the Southwest Monsoon gradually transitioned into inter-monsoon conditions from the end of October 2023. As monsoon rainband moved towards the equator, the prevailing winds weakened and turned light and variable over the equatorial regions as shown in Figure 1. In addition, Tropical Cyclone KOINU which tracked northeast to north of the Philippines brought about heavy rainfall and strong winds over the northern regions of the Philippines. Above-average to high rainfall also accumulated over the Central and Northern Central Regions of Viet Nam, which was attributed to Tropical Cyclone SANBA in the middle of October 2023 and brought about landslides and flooding in these areas. Towards the end of October, Tropical Cyclone HAMOON brought above average rainfall along the coastal areas of Rakhine Territory in Myanmar before making landfall in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, dry weather persisted over much of the southern ASEAN region for the first half of October, while an increase in showers over parts of southern Kalimantan and southern Sumatra occurred towards the end of October. Most of Java and Sulawesi in Indonesia have remained dry and these conditions had been associated with the drought disasters that had occurred and affected about 277K persons in these areas.



According to the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), the Southwest Monsoon transitioned into the inter-monsoon period from the end of October 2023. Prevalence of the inter-monsoon conditions may be expected over the ASEAN regions in November, where the prevailing winds are light and variable in direction over most parts of the region. An increase in shower activities is also likely with the monsoon rainband located close to the equator. Gradual onset of the Northwest Monsoon can be expected from December, during which the prevailing winds over the ASEAN region blow predominantly from the northwest or northeast.

An increased chance of below-normal rainfall is predicted for November 2023 to January 2024 over the southern and eastern Maritime Continent. Meanwhile, the northwestern Maritime Continent is likely to have above-normal rainfall. The ocean indicators (Nino3.4 index) shows El Niño conditions with support from key indicators (cloudiness, trade wind). El Niño conditions are likely to persist until at least February to March 2024. ASMC notes the presence of a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) which is predicted to end by January to February 2024. Both El Niño and positive IOD tend to bring drier conditions to much of the region. For the period of November 2023 to January 2024, ASMC predicts above-normal temperature for most of the ASEAN region.

Note: The qualitative outlook is assessed for the region in general and based on the latest runs from models provided by the SEA RCC-Network LRF node. For specific updates on the national scale, the relevant ASEAN National Meteorological and Hydrological Services should be consulted.


Sources: ASEAN Disaster Information Network (ADINet), ASEAN Disaster Monitoring and Response System (DMRS), ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB) – Indonesia, Agensi Pengurusan Bencana Negara (NADMA) – Malaysia, Department of Disaster Management (DDM) – Myanmar, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) – Philippines, Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) – Thailand, Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) – TMD, Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi dan Geofisika (BMKG) – Indonesia, Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) – Indonesia, Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) – Philippines, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) – Philippines

Written by : Jasmine Alviar, Sadhu Zukhruf Janottama, Lawrence Anthony Dimailig


The 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: https://adinet.ahacentre.org/report/

Tuesday, 27 February 2024 / Published in Highlight


The 19th Meeting of the AHA Centre Governing Board was held on 10 October 2023 as part of the 11th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM) and related meetings in.

During the meeting, the AHA Centre briefed the meeting on the implementation progress of the AHA Centre’s 2023 Work Plan. As of September 2023, the Centre had completed 87% of the main activities planned for 2023 and was projected to achieve a 97% completion rate by the end of the year.

The activities reported to the Governing Board within the period of May to September 2023 include Disaster Monitoring and Analysis and dissemination of disaster information products, the 3rd AHA Centre Information Management Network (AIM-Net) meeting, the ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency Exercise (ARDEX-23), the 3rd Workshop on the ASEAN Joint Disaster Response Plan (AJDRP), and the Workshop on the Presentation of Initial Findings of the ASEAN Capacity Building Impact Study and Transition to the Roadmap Development Plan, and the ASEAN Disaster Management Week.

Within the ASCEND project framework, the AHA Centre reported the successful organisation of several key activities, namely the Training of ASCEND Master Assessors, Review of ASCEND Competency Standards, 2nd Benchmarking Visit to the Republic of Korea, and Review of the ASCEND Framework.

The AHA Centre reported 2 (two) disaster responses conducted during the reporting period: first, the response to Tropical Cyclone Mocha in Myanmar from May to June 2023, and second, the response to the Combined Effects of the Southwest Monsoon, Tropical Cyclone Doksuri and Tropical Cyclone Khanun in the Philippines in July 2023.

Furthermore, from May to September 2023 the AHA Centre had organised a total of 30 (thirty) events and knowledge exchanges, in addition to 7 (seven) exercises and training courses focused on disaster management.

The AHA Centre expresses its deepest gratitude to the Governing Board for its invaluable guidance and support, which have been essential in achieving the objectives set for the year. The AHA Centre reaffirms its commitment to supporting the enhancement of ASEAN’s disaster management capacity, underscoring its dedication to advancing the region’s resilience and preparedness against disasters.


Written by: Gladys Respati | Photos by: AHA Centre

Wednesday, 24 January 2024 / Published in The Other Side


The Second ASCEND Benchmarking Visit marked a collaborative effort between the ASEAN Member States and the Republic of Korea to bolster their emergency and disaster response capabilities. Taking place from 28 to 31 August 2023 in the Republic of Korea, this event offered 26 participants from the ten ASEAN Member States, the ASEAN-Korea Programme Management Team (AKPMT), and the AHA Centre a unique opportunity to learn from South Korea’s exemplary practices in disaster management.

The four-day schedule was packed with informative and hands-on experiences in various benchmarking sites. First, the delegates visited the Fire Equipment Center in Eumseong County, where they had the chance to understand the critical role of the Fire Equipment Center in managing and inspecting fire equipment. The visit also included a briefing by the Korea Fire Institute, providing an overview of fire equipment management, followed by an exhilarating hands-on experience driving a fire vehicle simulator.

On the second day, the participants travelled to Busan and visited the Busan Fire Academy. The academy offered delegates a comprehensive introduction to its various operations, including the rescue and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) operations at sea during the maritime disaster response. An observation of a simulated exercise (SIMEX) on emergency response at sea ended the visit to the academy.

Still in Busan, delegates explored the Busan 119 Safety Experience Center, which features various facilities for safety training and simulations. Briefings on each facility and its functions were followed by active participation in programmes such as earthquake and cyclone simulations. This immersive experience provided insights into disaster preparedness and response strategies.

The visit culminated with a trip to the International Fire and Safety Expo Korea 2023, where state-of-the-art fire technology and safety innovations from companies worldwide were on display. Delegates had the opportunity to observe cutting-edge fire and safety equipment, fostering connections with international partners and staying updated on the latest advancements in the field.

Similar to the first visit, the second ASCEND Benchmarking Visit was facilitated by the Korean National Fire Agency, which supports and contributes to the ongoing implementation and development of ASCEND. South Korea’s commitment to sharing expertise and facilitating learning among its regional counterparts was evident throughout the visit. The event concluded with participants expressing gratitude to the Republic of Korea for its warm hospitality and invaluable insights. The commitment to ongoing collaboration and knowledge sharing in the realm of emergency and disaster response was reaffirmed, promising a safer and more resilient future for all.




Written by: Excel Botigan | Photos by: AHA Centre