/ / Monthly Disaster Outlook



While number of recorded disaster occurrences (56) for the month of November 2020 is 37% lower than the previous month (October 2020 – 89 disasters), it is three times higher than the five-year average for November (2015-2019). Figures also show significantly higher numbers for affected people, internally displaced people, damaged houses, deaths, injuries, and missing people. As predicted by the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) in their previous seasonal outlook, wetter conditions for most of the ASEAN region and La Niña phenomenon (which bring wetter-than-normal conditions likely to persist until January 2021) were realised as forecast. Coincidingly, hydro-meteo-climatological hazards were constant during November 2020, an almost threefold increase in floods, two times more rain-induced landslides, twice as many storms, and more than ten times the amount of high winds reported. Aside from these, many of the higher figures are also attributed largely to the effects of Typhoons GONI and VAMCO across multiple regions of the Philippines, and partially into Central Viet Nam.

For geophysical events, a total of 21 significant earthquakes (M≥5.0) were reported in the region for November 2020 by local authorities. Volcanic activities were reported for Indonesia’s Merapi, Sinabung, and Ili Lewotolok mountains, with all under Alert Level III and being closely monitored. Recent volcanic activity was also reported for Ibu, Semeru, and Dukono mountains in Indonesia, but there were no reports of significant damage. The recent eruption of Mount Ili Lewotolok highlights the importance of early warning systems and early action to reduce humanitarian impacts, even more so in tectonically active countries like Indonesia and the Philippines.


Northeast Monsoon conditions were present over much of the ASEAN region by the last week of November 2020. During the Northeast Monsoon, the winds over the ASEAN region are expected to blow mainly from the northeast or northwest. The northern ASEAN region is expected to enter its traditional dry season, while in the southern ASEAN region generally wet conditions can be expected, as the monsoon rain band moves southwards over the equatorial regions.

For the December 2020 to February 2021 period, models predict near-normal to above-normal rainfall over much of the ASEAN region, except for the equatorial region, where near-normal to below-normal rainfall is predicted. La Niña conditions are present over the tropical Pacific Ocean, with climate models predicting moderate to strong La Niña conditions during the period. La Niña conditions are typically associated with wetter-than-normal conditions over the Southeast Asia region, and are expected to weaken during the boreal spring (March – May).

Warmer-than-normal temperature is expected to continue over much of the Maritime Continent for the next three months. Parts of Mainland Southeast Asia may experience below to near-normal temperatures.

With the onset of the Northeast Monsoon, a gradual increase in hotspot activities and associated smoke haze over the northern ASEAN region may be expected from December 2020 under the influence of dry conditions. Hotspot activities in the southern ASEAN region are forecast to remain subdued, mainly due to wet conditions resulting from the monsoon rain band located over the southern ASEAN region.

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

Written by : Keith Paolo Landicho, 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.