/ / Monthly Disaster Outlook



During the month of October 2019 there were 11 reported disaster events in the ASEAN region, which registers 31% lower than the average of disaster occurrences for October over the previous five years (16). There were only 3 types of disaster events recorded in October 2019 (flood, landslide and storm), compared to 7 types recorded in the last five years for the same period. For the last five years there have been reports of drought, landslide, volcanic activity and wind events, however such disaster types were not recorded for October 2019. Also of note during this period were the comparatively low numbers of displaced, dead and injured persons, as well as damaged houses, despite the impact of the series of earthquakes that occurred in Cotabato province, southern Philippines. Three strong earthquakes with a magnitude above 6.0 rocked the province during October 2019, which aside from initial damage, also prolonged the local population’s displacement, with a majority damage experienced by residential homes (95% of the total damaged infrastructures). Earthquakes in Cotabato also claimed 24 lives from the total recorded 36 deaths for the month.

In general, this period has been dominated by hydro-meteorological events for the last five years, primarily by floods (51%) that usually affected and displaced population. This pattern is related to the tropical cyclone season in the Pacific, which brings above- normal rainfall to flood-prone areas in Southeast Asia. This was the case during October 2019, with seven of the 11 reported disasters related to flooding.

In terms of geological hazards, there were 34 seismic activities with a magnitude of 5.0 and above that occurred within October 2019, with 24 events experienced in Indonesia (BMKG), and 10 in the Philippines (PHIVOLCS) – including the three destructive earthquakes in Cotabato province. There were also three volcanic activities monitored in Indonesia, although all were categorised as Level II alert, and posed no danger to the population.


According to the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), the inter-monsoon period usually transitions into the Northeast Monsoon season during November or early December. The Northeast Monsoon season will bring generally dry conditions to the northern ASEAN region, with rain to the southern ASEAN region. While rainy conditions over most of the equatorial and southern ASEAN region are expected in the next three months (November 2019 to January 2020), the rainfall is forecast to be below-average, due to the positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). Amidst the dry conditions in the northern ASEAN region, there is an increased likelihood for above-average rainfall for the northernmost parts (northern parts of Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam).

For the next 3 months the ASMC also forecasts above-average temperatures for most parts of the ASEAN region, and this may also contribute to isolated hotspot activities in the southern ASEAN region during November 2019. In terms of El Niño and La Niña, the current state remains in neutral condition, and is forecast to remain as such for the rest of 2019 and into early 2020.


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

Written by : Lawrence Anthony Dimailig, Shahasrakiranna, Lawrence Aporto, 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.