MONTHLY DISASTER REVIEW AND OUTLOOK
FEBRUARY 2020 | DISASTER MONITORING & ANALYSIS
(DMA) UNIT, AHA CENTRE
GENERAL REVIEW OF FEBRUARY 2020
The 21 disaster occurrences for the month of February 2020 was similar to the five-year average for the month (20). A majority of the recorded disasters were flood events in different regions across Indonesia, most of which occurred towards the end of February. A single flooding event in the Johor State in Malaysia was also recorded at the end of the month. Adding to this, four landslides were recorded to have occurred in Indonesia for this month, including in Bandung Regency in the second week, and three during the last week of the month in Tasikmalaya district, Bandongan district, and Magelang Regency. Based on this, significant differences related to five-year disaster impact averages were observed. This included a 95% increase in the number of affected people, more than double the amount of internally displaced people, and four times the number of damaged houses. There was, however, a 36% decrease in the number of casualties alongside no reports of injured and missing people.
According to reports by the Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), the presence of two tropical cyclones (TC) – TC Esther in Gulf of Carpentaria and TC Ferdinand in the Indian Ocean – influenced the heavy rainfall that caused flooding events. Accordingly, based on the Climate Forecast System (CFS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), average precipitation in millimeters peaked twice for the month of February on the island of Java. The first peak occurred in the second week with the second at the end of the month, supporting the cause of the flooding that took place at the end of February. Additionally, based on the CFS (which assimilates ground, air, aircraft, and satellite observations) findings, maximum precipitation differences for the month of February 2020 compared to five-year average rainfall values reached an approximate increase of 100 millimetres.
Based on disaster comparisons, the number of flooding events are 13.33% higher than the five-year average. Despite this relatively low increase in numbers, there was a significant increase in figures related to impact of the disasters. The increase in the extent and severity of the impacts may be an indication of a changing climate. However, the efforts of Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB), and measures implemented to curtail the impacts of disasters resulted in the decrease to numbers of casualties. Additionally, the dramatic increase in the number of damaged houses could further support the call for more climate change-adaptive and resilient structures in disaster-stricken regions.
According to the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), enhanced chances of below-normal rainfall or drier conditions are expected over northern parts of Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, and the southern regions of Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam, and of the Philippines for the March-May 2020 season. For regions south of the equator, the ASMC predicts above-normal rainfall or wetter conditions. Temperature-wise, most parts of the ASEAN region are expected to continue experiencing warmer conditions for the March-May 2020 period.
Haze outlook for the ASEAN region during March-May 2020 is expected to show increased hotspot activities due to drier conditions. A deterioration of haze situation is displayed for the Northern Mekong sub-region, according to the ASMC. The onset of increased rainfall is foreseen to subdue hotspot activities and improve the haze situation in the region. Lastly, the haze situation in the southern ASEAN region is expected to remain subdued, but localised hotspots may emerge during the occasional dry weather.
Continent as predicted by the models.
Data Sources: ASEAN Disaster Information Network, ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre
Written by : Keith Landicho and Lawrence Anthony Dimailig
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.