/ / Monthly Disaster Outlook



During the month of July 2019, as many as 27 disasters were reported within the region. This figure is 29% higher than the previous five-year average number of disaster occurrences for July – with an observable spike in the number of earthquake and landslide occurrences. However, all other figures are lower than the respective five-year average, except for numbers of injured persons. The number of injured people increased by 64% due to the M7.2 earthquake that struck North Maluku during the second week of July. In general, the lower disaster impact figures for July this year, in comparison to the average during the last five years, can be attributed primarily to the magnitude of disaster occurrences. In July 2014, Typhoon Ramassun battered the Philippines and Viet Nam, Myanmar was heavily flooded in 2015, and drought significantly impacted Myanmar and the Philippines during 2018. These major disaster events affected between 1.7 million to 4.5 million people, displaced hundreds of thousands, and resulted in mass casualties. This year, only minor and moderate disaster events have occurred, resulting in only impact numbers of 32% of the five-year average affected people, and 10% of the five-year average internally displaced people.

There were 46 earthquakes of at least magnitude 5.0 recorded in Indonesia and the Philippines during the month. July 2019 was characterised by quite a number of earthquake events that resulted in minor to significant damages. Collectively, these earthquake events contributed to at least 79% in this month’s casualties (dead, injured, and missing), had a 65% share in causing internal displacement, and caused 92% of damaged houses.


Rainfall data for the month of July 2019 indicates near to above normal rainfall conditions were experienced in Lao PDR, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam, and most parts of Malaysia, the Philippines, and West Papua in Indonesia. Meanwhile, below normal rainfall conditions were recorded over eastern Indonesia and portions of southern Malaysia. Similar conditions are expected to persist as the impact of Southwest Monsoon continues in the region. For the next three months, the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) expects generally above-normal rainfall conditions in the southern parts of Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam, while generally below-normal rainfall conditions are predicted over the southern ASEAN region and over southern Philippines. In addition, the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently showing positive values, and is expected to persist into the 3rd quarter of 2019. A positive IOD can lead to below-normal rainfall conditions over Singapore and nearby areas, which will contribute further to the current drier conditions. Coupled with the effects of the Southwest Monsoon, there is a potential for an escalation of hotspot activities in the southern ASEAN region, which may lead to an increase in the risk of transboundary haze occurrence.

The potential for recurrence of flooding in the Mekong sub-region, and the continuation of drought in the southern ASEAN region, requires readiness in terms of monitoring and response. In line with this, the AHA Centre joined the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the Office of Civil Defense, and the Pacific Disaster Center during the launch of PhilAWARE and National Disaster Preparedness Baseline Assessment in the Philippines. These initiatives aim to increase preparedness capacities of the Philippines, including monitoring hazards within its jurisdiction. In addition, the AHA Centre also conducted the Pilot ASEAN Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination Course, and participated in the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response Communications and Staff Exercises. These events contribute to the readiness of the Centre in coordinating military assistance during emergency response.


Data Sources: ASEAN Disaster Information Network, ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre

Written by : Lawrence Anthony Dimailig & Shahasrakiranna


Disclaimer: 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.