MONTHLY DISASTER REVIEW AND OUTLOOK
SEPTEMBER 2019 | DISASTER MONITORING & ANALYSIS
(DMA) UNIT, AHA CENTRE
GENERAL REVIEW OF SEPTEMBER 2019
During the month of September 2019, there were 16 reported disaster events throughout the ASEAN region, registering at 33% higher than the five-year average. Half of the reported events were flood events (8 in total), which is 60% higher than the five-year average. The flooding was caused by the enhanced effect of the Southwest Monsoon, due to the sequential occurrence of Tropical Storm PODUL and Tropical Depression KAJIKI in early September. These storms resulted in flooding across Lao PDR, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Besides the transboundary storm and flood disaster events, an M6.5 Earthquake in the last week of September struck Ambon, Indonesia, displacing more than 200,000 people.
On the other hand, general impact figures – such as the number of people affected, damaged houses, and casualties – were lower for September 2019 compared to the previous five-year average. This could be explained by the occurrence of several severe, high-impact disaster events in September 2018, including the M7.5 Earthquake and Tsunami in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, the M6.4 Earthquake in the Philippines, and Typhoon Mangkhut which affected the northern part of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Viet Nam. In total, these events affected about 10 million people, while 2017 saw massive droughts in Indonesia, which affected around 4 million people.
During the month of September, the AHA Centre activated its Emergency Operations Centre to support the flooding event that affected six provinces in the southern part of Lao PDR. Besides sending relief items, together with the help of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) partners, the AHA Centre also deployed its In-Country Liaison Team (ICLT) and an ASEAN-ERAT Information Management specialist to provide support in planning, training, and implementing a joint rapid needs assessment in Lao PDR. The AHA Centre also provided remote support to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NDMO) of Lao PDR for data visualisation and mapping purposes.
According to the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), the inter-monsoon period will be expected to start in early October 2019 over the ASEAN region. This seasonal period is mainly characterised by light and variable winds, together with rainy conditions in the equatorial area, which can improve hotspot activities and the haze situation. This state may persist for several weeks before giving way to the Northeast Monsoon season in late November or early December.
Furthermore, the El-Nino phase will remain “neutral” at least until the end of the year. Separately, above-normal temperatures over most parts of the ASEAN region can be expected, with the northern ASEAN region to enter its traditional dry season. Meanwhile, below-normal temperatures are expected in the eastern part of the Indian Ocean, due to the positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), which could also reduce the rainfall intensities in the southern ASEAN region.
Data Sources: ASEAN Disaster Information Network, ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre
Written by : Lawrence Anthony Dimailig, Lawrence Aporto, Shahasrakiranna, and Justin Chin Jin Jie
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.