PROJECT STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING
MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, 24TH AUGUST 2018
Entering its second phase of implementation, the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA) Phase II project continues to contribute to the implementation of One ASEAN One Response, specifically in the area of stockpile deployment to disaster-affected countries. As the leading mechanism in the Phase II project, the DELSA Phase II Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting was held on the 24th of August in the OCD-NDRRMC Office, Camp Aguinaldo, the Philippines.
As reported in the meeting, during 2018 the DELSA Phase II project has contributed to stockpile deployment and local procurement in response to the floods in Lao PDR, floods in Myanmar, and the earthquakes in Indonesia, providing relief items to a total value of USD 426,867. The remaining ASEAN stockpile, which is stored in the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Subang, Malaysia, consists of 45 types of relief items amounting to the total value of USD 1,777,460.
This meeting also formed an opportunity for the DELSA Project Management Team to report the progress of the establishment of the satellite warehouses in the Philippines and Thailand. The satellite warehouse in the Philippines utilises a building owned by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Camp Aguinaldo, which after some renovations, will be ready to house the satellite warehouse.
Meanwhile, the satellite warehouse in Thailand is planned to be fully operationalised by the first quarter of 2019, with a scheduled official launching during the ASEAN Summit in April 2019, coinciding with the induction of the Thailand Chairmanship of ASEAN.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of the satellite warehouse in the Philippines was also signed during the meeting by Ms. Adelina Kamal, Executive Director of the AHA Centre, and Under Secretary Ricardo B. Jalad, Executive Director of NDRRMC and Administrator of the OCD Philippines. This MoU marks the strengthening of cooperation and commitment between the AHA Centre and OCD Philippines to support the readiness of ASEAN in responding to disasters. The meeting also resulted in other significant guidance and decisions on key resources, criteria and partnerships to support the network of the DELSA warehouses. A key study on stockpile identification was agreed, with results to act as a baseline that will serve as a reference for minimum types and quantity of stockpiles to be stored across all three DELSA warehouses, as well as specific stockpiles unique to each warehouse.
The DELSA Phase II PSC Meeting was attended by the AHA Centre, ASEAN Secretariat, representatives from Singapore and Malaysia as the Co-Chairs of the ACDM Working Group on Preparedness and Response, representatives from the Mission of Japan to ASEAN and Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) Management Team as the donor, and representatives from the Philippines and Thailand as the host countries of satellite warehouses.
Written by : Caroline Widagdo | Photo : AHA Centre
ONE ASEAN ONE RESPONSE
During August 2018 the AHA Centre once again evidenced ASEAN’s solidarity for disaster-affected population in the Southeast Asian region, this time supporting communities in the well-known tourist destination of Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. The area was recently the epicentre of multiple earthquakes, with the initial major quake recorded at M 6.4 on Sunday the 29th of July. A week later, on the 5th of August, a larger M 7 earthquake hit the already-affected area, increasing numbers of casualties and causing greater damaged to buildings and livelihoods within the Lombok region. The main shock also triggered a tsunami warning, which thankfully did not result in an actual tsunami event. However, throughout the month of August, over 1000 aftershocks were recorded by the Meteorological, Climatology, and Geological Agency of Indonesia (BMKG), with the region still remaining vulnerable to quakes during the ongoing recovery phase.
Following the main earthquake on the 5th of August 2018, the AHA Centre intensified its cooperation with Indonesian National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB), which had been ongoing since the initial quake in late July. Upon receiving notification of the second earthquake, the AHA Centre immediately deployed a staff member to the field, provided information management and translation support for BNPB, as well as facilitated the deployment of an ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT) to the affected region. A little later, the AHA Centre obtained a green-light to mobilise relief items from the ASEAN emergency stockpile in Subang, Malaysia. These relief items – worth approximately USD $154,438 – were picked-up by the BNPB using a chartered flight, arriving in Praya Airport, Lombok, in three batches between early to mid-August.
For Lombok, earthquake events are not particularly new, with notable earthquakes recorded in the region from as early as the year 1856. Consolidated data from the United States Geological Survey and the Indonesian Meteorological and Climatology Agency (BMKG) also noted that major earthquakes above M 6 occurred on the island in 1970, 1972, 1978, 1979, and 2000. Based on the latest National Disaster Risk Index – published by BNPB in 2016 – Lombok is categorised as a medium to high-scale earthquake-prone area. Considering these vulnerabilities and risks, the resettlement areas currently underconstruction will use similar earthquake-resistant technology that has been adopted through the post-earthquake recovery periods in Aceh and Nias, Sumatera, Indonesia.
“Indonesia is part of the ASEAN community, and the BNPB has been working closely with the ASEAN coordinating agency for disaster management, or AHA Centre. All Heads of State and Government of ASEAN countries have agreed to stand as one, whenever natural disasters happen in neighbouring states. Based on the One ASEAN One Response Declaration, Indonesia trusts the AHA Centre to provide additional logistical support that is required for the emergency response. For example, this Mobile Storage Unit we stand in that can serve as a portable warehouse, and family tents that can provide shelters for the displaced communities”, said H.E Willem Rampangilei, the Chief of BNPB, in between the emergency responses in Lombok.
On a similar note, the Executive Director of the AHA Centre, Ms. Adelina Kamal, stated that “the ASEAN relief items belong to all ASEAN countries, including Indonesia. When a disaster occurs and relief items are required, ASEAN Member State can access the regional stockpile, and the AHA Centre will facilitate its mobilisation to the affected areas. We would like to show our appreciation to the BNPB for the confidence given to the AHA Centre in complementing the government’s life-saving efforts on the ground. Our partnership strengthens the vision embodied in the ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN One Response”.
All ten ASEAN Member States have recognised the AHA Centre as the primary regional disaster management coordinating agency in ASEAN. Indonesia has been actively involved in the establishment of the AHA Centre, and has been hosting the AHA Centre since it first opened in November 2011. The mission to Lombok is the AHA Centre’s fifth response this year, bringing the total responses to 23 emergencies in 7 ASEAN countries since the AHA Centre’s establishment.
Written by: Shintya Kurniawan | Photo : AHA Centre
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
SIMULATION EXERCISE WITH GIDRM AND SDC, 24-25 JANUARY 2018
AT 04:23AM, THE AHA CENTRE’S WHATSAPP GROUP WAS ALIGHT WITH MESSAGES, AS STAFF IN JAKARTA AND BEYOND WERE ROUSED FROM THEIR SLEEP BY THE NEWS OF AN EARTHQUAKE. THIS SIMULATED EARTHQUAKE EVENT FORMED THE BEGINNING OF THE AHA CENTRE’S EXERCISE WITH GIDRM AND SDC.
A 7.9 Magnitude earthquake was recorded near Pontianak with 10 Km depth. Disaster Monitoring and Analysis will update if there is a tsunami advisory issued.
Twelve minutes later, another message appears on the mobile phone screens of the group.
Given the shallow depth, tsunami warning may be triggered for Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.
These alerts were followed by a request to gather at the AHA Centre’s Emergency Operations Centre at 7 a.m. and series of internal coordination meetings for the next 36 hours. For the first time ever, the AHA Centre was involved in a two-day scenario, responding to a fictitious large-scale disaster which presumably affected three ASEAN Member-States. Every few hours, new injects were given and complicate the situation. The injects include, among others, a biohazards leakage at an industrial area in Pontianak and a kidnapping case of the ASEAN-ERAT member.
This unique scenario helped staff to practice their internal preparedness and response mechanisms. At the end of the exercise, the AHA Centre evaluated its response mechanism, noting gaps and weaknesses, and discussed the solutions that could support the improvement of the organisation’s readiness in responding to complex disaster situations. This interesting and engaging exercise was facilitated by the Global Initiative on Disaster Risk Management (GIDRM) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
Written by : Shintya Kurniawan | Photo : AHA Centre
MISSION IN RAKHINE, MYANMAR
As part of its ongoing efforts to assist displaced population in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, the AHA Centre deployed ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) personnel to Myanmar from the 15th – 31st of January, 2018. Tasked to support the work of the Disaster Management Department of Myanmar, the deployed ERAT team was made up of members from the Philippines and Singapore, alongside one AHA Centre staff.
THIS DEPLOYMENT OF ASEAN-ERAT PERSONNEL HAD THREE PRIMARY OBJECTIVES:
1. Observing the status of ASEAN’s relief items that were previously provided through the AHA Centre;
2. Supporting the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) of Myanmar’s Disaster Management Department with information management, secondary data analysis, and report writing;
3. Undertaking preparations for the next ASEAN-ERAT Induction Course that will be held in Myanmar later in 2018.
Between October 2017 and January 2018, the AHA Centre facilitated the provision of 80 tonnes of relief items, delivered in two batches from the ASEAN regional stockpile in Subang, Malaysia. In December 2017, additional relief items were locally procured by utilising a S$100,000 contribution from the Government of Singapore. Part of this deployment mission included a two-day field observation to Rakhine State, through which the ASEAN-ERAT members confirmed that the distribution of relief items was undertaken as reported by the Disaster Management Department of Myanmar.
The ASEAN-ERAT team also observed the state of temporary shelters, prepared by the Government of Myanmar for displaced communities in Rakhine, as well as those that may return from outside the State. This temporary settlement is equipped with clean water, as well as pre-positioned materials such as clothes, food, and kitchen sets.
In addition to the existing efforts, the Government of Myanmar has developed a stockpile of contingency relief items in Sittwe and Maungdaw, in anticipation of future events, such as flooding, during the approaching monsoon season. Throughout their mission, the ASEAN-ERAT members worked closely with the Director-General and staff of the Disaster Management Department, alongside the Myanmar Red Cross, the General Administration Department in Rakhine, and the Fire Services Departments in Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon, and Rakhine. They worked together conducting a needs assessment, and developing recommendations to further enhance the ongoing provision of humanitarian assistance to the affected communities in Rakhine State.
“THE AHA CENTRE WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE GOVERNMENT OF MYANMAR FOR WELCOMING OUR ASEAN-ERAT MEMBERS TO WORK IN NAY PYI TAW AND RAKHINE STATE. THE MISSION DEMONSTRATES ASEAN’S SOLIDARITY, HELPING ONE ANOTHER IN TIMES OF DIFFICULTY, UNDER THE SPIRIT OF ONE ASEAN ONE RESPONSE,” SAID ADELINA KAMAL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE AHA CENTRE.
Written by : Shintya Kurniawan | Photo : AHA Centre
Dr. Puji Pujiono, the Founder and Senior Adviser of the Pujiono Centre and now a businessman, is one of the ASEAN region’s most respected and renowned disaster management experts. His reputation in the humanitarian and disaster management fields is acclaimed across regions from his works with numerous United Nations agencies, the ASEAN Secretariat, and organisations such as the Indonesian Red Cross to name just a few. A social worker by training and profession, Dr. Pujiono was naturally drawn into the disaster risk management sector through his firm belief and passion in humankind’s resilience to overcome adversities and great challenges.
It was Dr. Pujiono’s work with the UN Refugee Agency in the early 2000’s that introduced him to the ASEAN structure. “It was at the conclusion of the first emergency preparedness training in Indonesia that I saw potential to sow the seed for regional cooperation in disaster management” he says. In one of the then-obscure provisions in the 1976 ASEAN Declaration on Mutual Assistance on Natural Disasters, he found content regarding Member States’ commitment to assist other Member States that are in distress. Dr. Pujiono tells us that during a session of the ASEAN Experts Group Meeting on Disaster Management, he put forward three hard-to-resist proposals. “The resources to meet every six months instead of every two years, my own expertise to support the group, and my own professional networking to connect ASEAN with the rest of the world of disaster management….and they jumped at it”, he recalls.
Within the 18 months following that meeting, the infrastructure for ASEAN regional cooperation was instituted, that included the first ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management, a full-fledged ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), ASEAN Regional Programme on Disaster Management (ARPDM), and a draft regional agreement. The pivotal Indian Ocean Tsunami in December 2004 and the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Hyogo, Japan, in early 2005 presented the unprecedented momentum to accelerate the draft into what is now known as the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER). The Agreement sparked the idea to establish the AHA Centre, and since then has seen ASEAN develop to be among the leaders of disaster risk management actors across the world.
While reminiscing about his roles in the formative years of ASEAN’s tremendous progress in disaster management, Dr. Pujiono’s greatest passion is for future efforts and opportunities. Now that disaster management has become commonplace among ASEAN governments and communities, as they move towards attaining ASEAN integration, the challenge is how to turn such high-level regional political engagement into real national and agency-level From his past work as the Head of UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) based in Kobe, Japan, with UNDP Headquarters in Geneva, as well as in the field and in other roles, Dr. Pujiono has witnessed the value that the AHA Centre has in developing and integrating real commitments from parties within and external to ASEAN.
“The AHA Centre provides plenty of opportunity for all parties to share and pool resources, strengths and capacities, with the ultimate goal of making ASEAN a stronger region” he says.
Alongside his new foray into the business world, Dr. Pujiono has also led the transformation of the Pujiono Centre into a regional disaster knowledge platform, while also providing technical assistance to the revision of the disaster management legislation in the Indonesian Parliament, and engaging as a businessman in the ESCAP Sustainable Business Network Task Force on Disaster and Climate Risk Reduction.
From these new vantage points, he recognises that the value of the AHA Centre as the key coordinating body of disaster management in ASEAN is not only focusing on coordinating the disaster response parties. He stands ready to help the Centre rally the wider range of stakeholders to engage across the wider spectrum of disaster management as mandated by the AADMER. This would uniquely positon the AHA Centre as the nexus of ASEAN integration in term of strengthening resilience for sustainable development; that is from risk prevention, risk reduction, response, to recovery. Dr. Pujiono also looks forward to AHA Centre’s increased engagement on a global scale.
“I see AHA Centre solidifying its unique characteristics to be truly ASEAN; a champion that is distinct from the UN, distinct from its international partners, and to be one of the world’s leaders in disaster management”.
Written by : Christella Feni, William Shea | Photo : AHA Centre, Personal archive.
Mapping is perhaps one of the first things that springs to mind when we think of disaster preparedness and response. It forms an integral element of determining affected areas, infrastructure and terrain, as well as access for supplies both in preparedness planning and when disaster strikes. MapAction has been supporting the emergency management sector with professional mapping services, sending teams to respond to around 80 disasters across the world, and impacting the lives of tens of millions since its establishment in 2002. Based on such experience, and the importance of mapping within the disaster management context, the AHA Centre and MapAction recently formalised their working partnership through the signing of a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) during the 8th Meeting of the Governing Board of the AHA Centre held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 27 June 2018.
Although the ink is still drying on the formal partnership between the AHA Centre and MapAction, the two institutions have already forged a strong working relationship throughout recent years, primarily engaging through the AHA Centre-led ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) training programme. MapAction has provided valuable support to participants in the ASEAN-ERAT workshops, with hands-on training using state-of-the-art mapping applications that support the work of ASEAN-ERAT during disaster response. Training on the use of these applications has allowed ASEAN-ERAT members to engage in data visualisation and communication of the impacts of disasters during deployments on the frontline, and such working efforts paved the way for the development of the AHA Centre and MapAction’s formal partnership.
This recently signed MoI will ensure that a range of activities will be undertaken with a focus to mutually-beneficial outcomes for both the AHA Centre and MapAction. Under the MoI, MapAction will engage their skills and experience to support the development and implementation of emergency management in the region by providing GIS-based mapping support for ASEAN-ERAT deployments to regional and international emergency response operations, as well as providing GIS-based remote mapping material support for the AHA Centre upon request. Accordingly, the AHA Centre will support MapAction’s work by facilitating access to disaster-affected areas, including obtaining visas and customs clearance for MapAction’s equipment, and also identifying and facilitating potential collaboration opportunities between ASEAN Member States and MapAction to enhance information management and the use of GIS in emergency preparedness and response efforts.
The two parties will also embark on a range of shared projects, with the aim to strengthen the long-term sustainability and development of disaster management capacity in the ASEAN region. Such efforts will include a jointly-developed training curriculum for an ASEAN-ERAT specialised course on GIS mapping and technology, alongside practising joint deployment within the ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise (ARDEX) and ASEAN Regional Forum Disaster Relief Exercise (ARF DiREx) implementations. Such mutually-beneficial partnerships form a key element of the AHA Centre’s partnership strategy, as summed up by the AHA Centre’s Executive Director Ms. Adelina Kamal,
“The knowledge and practical skills shared by MapAction through joint training and exercises will allow the AHA Centre and our ASEAN-ERAT members to better assist the disaster-affected country and enhance coordination with other humanitarian actors in line with the spirit of One ASEAN One Response.”
Written by : William Shea | Photo : AHA Centre, MapAction
NATURAL DISASTERS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
JULY 2012 – JUNE 2018
The AHA Centre has been monitoring disasters across ASEAN since its establishment in 2011. This month, we present a snapshot from consolidated data of recorded disasters that have taken place in the ASEAN region throughout the past six years.
As can be seen, the occurrence of disaster in Indonesia is extremely high, due much to its location on the ‘Ring of Fire’ – with its high tectonic activity – resulting in ongoing threats from earthquakes and volcanoes, alongside hydro-meteorological events such as flooding and landslides. Nations such as Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam have also experienced high numbers of disasters, often as a result of monsoonal seasons and heavy rainfall. Even for nations with lower numbers, the risk of disaster remains high. Due to ongoing optimisation of AHA Centre’s monitoring systems, as well as improving regional disaster classifications and reporting mechanisms, localised disasters may have previously been under-reported, with numbers for many nations potentially higher than displayed above. This highlights the importance of the AHA Centre’s existence, to support the skills development and increase capacity of Member States to prepare, monitor and respond to disasters of all varieties and at a world-class level.
Written by : Shintya Kurniawan, William Shea
The presented information above is consolidated from the ASEAN Disaster Information Net (ADINet) and the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT).
TÉLÉCOMS SANS FRONTIÈRES
Connecting People During Emergencies
Télécoms Sans Fontières (TSF) was founded in 1998 and is currently the world’s leading non-profit emergency telecommunications organisation. TSF provides emergency communications facilities for affected populations and humanitarian aid workers during disasters. TSF has an established office in the United States, as well as three operational bases in France, Nicaragua, and Thailand. Over the last 20 years, TSF has developed a roster of worldwide IT and telecoms specialists, ready for deployment within a few hours’ notice of the onset of a disaster. TFS has built its reputation as one of the first responders on the ground when disaster strikes. TFS is also part of the first responder for the UN Emergency Telecommunications Cluster, and also a member of the UN Working Group on Emergency Telecommunications (WGET). TSF is also engaged as a partner of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
October 2010 was the first time ASEAN facilitated TSF’s deployment within ASEAN Member States, during the response to the Mentawai earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia. This deployment was initiated at the request of the Office of the President of Indonesia, and in coordination with the Indonesian National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB). Since 2017, ASEAN, through the AHA Centre, has engaged TSF to train ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT) regarding emergency ICT processes. The relationship between the AHA Centre and TSF has since been formalised through a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) signed on the 5th of January 2018. The MOI clarifies the facilitation of cooperation, and exchange of information, assets and ideas of mutual interest and benefit for both entities. Through the MOI, TSF also re-affirms its commitment to support ASEAN in enhancing the capacity of ASEAN ERAT for emergency ICT preparedness and response–a key element in the overall One ASEAN, One Response vision.
The partnership between AHA Centre and TSF involves cooperation on preparedness, as well as during emergency responses. Preparedness activities include training and joint deployment to exercises. Insofar, TSF has supported the implementation of three ASEAN-ERAT induction courses since April 2017. For emergency response, this partnership is crucial to support the deployment of ASEAN-ERAT, particularly during early stages when telecommunication systems are usually down.
“Emergency telecommunication will also serve as the backbone to support the role of ASEAN-ERAT in facilitating the coordination of ASEAN response on the ground. During an emergency, TSF will deploy its experts alongside ASEAN-ERAT responders to support their communication. Deployment of TSF experts and their equipment will also leverage ASEAN-ERAT’s capacity to extend our emergency communication support for the affected government and other institutions,” stated Janggam Adhityawarma, Assistant Director for Preparedness & Response with the AHA Centre.
The AHA Centre and TSF will continue to support each other during emergency deployments and through capacity building exercises. We are now looking forward to conduct a joint deployment for the ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise (ARDEX) 2018 in Indonesia, to further develop our collaboration in supporting affected ASEAN Member States in times of disaster.
Written by : Carla Budiarto | Photo : AHA Centre/Dandi Rahman
Thailand is often known as the heart of Southeast Asia, as it lies in the centre of the ASEAN Region, sharing borders with Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, and Myanmar. The nation is home to a variety of geographical features – including mountains, flatlands, coastal regions, rivers and wetlands – with its proximity to the equator ensuring a hot and steamy climate throughout most of the year, with a climate controlled by tropical monsoons.
While the risk of natural disaster in Thailand is generally lower than the rest of the ASEAN nations due to land masses in the east providing protection from typhoons, and the fact that the country does not lie on a tectonic plate boundary – the interaction between humans and the environment often sees Thailand experience high occurrence of disaster from natural hazards. Floods, drought and landslides disasters are often the result of this complex interaction between humans and their surrounds.
Without doubt, flood forms the greatest natural hazard to Thailand and its citizens, with all regions throughout the country prone to experiencing disaster events and damages due to flooding. There is flash-flooding in the river basins of the south and central deltas, monsoonal floods in Thailand’s coastal regions, and flooding in mountainous areas as the arid land struggles with absorbing the rain caused by unstable mountainous weather systems. High numbers of communities living along the nation’s rivers and coast often feel the full force of these yearly occurrences. Between 1987 to February 2018, Thailand experienced 77 flood events, impacted the nation’s population and economy.
Accelerated by the impact of a changing climate, drought events have become increasingly prevalent in Thailand, particularly in the nation’s central and eastern regions. The months between January and May often see drought conditions become increasingly severe, as communities await alleviation through the onset of the monsoon season. Drought in Thailand has a significant impact on the nation’s agricultural industry, and consequently can affect the country’s food supply and economy. Alongside this, weather anomalies have also resulted in severe drought emergencies. For example, El Niño in 2014 impacted over 20,000 villages in Thailand’s north, having a run-on effect to agricultural production, food supplies and the nation’s economy.
Landslides form a significant hazard for Thailand’s mountainous northern and eastern regions, as the struggle between arid lands due to the dry season and the onset of monsoonal rains plays out. This struggle often results in large and unexpected landslides, at times amplified by the existence of land degradation due to deforestation. With such events occurring in more remote, mountainous locations, vulnerable populations tend to be from rural commu-nities, and impacts are often further accentuated due to poor building practices within these remote villages. 2011 saw Thailand’s worst landslide event, with an entire village engulfed by mudflow, with 110 residents lost their lives due to the unexpected natural disaster.
Written by : William Shea
All information sourced from ‘Viet Nam Disaster Management Reference Handbook: 2015’, as developed by the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DM).
MONTHLY DISASTER REVIEW OUTLOOK
MARCH 2018 | DISASTER MONITORING & ANALYSIS
(DMA) UNIT, AHA CENTRE
GENERAL OVERVIEW OF MARCH 2018
Hydro-meteorological disasters, particularly floods, strong winds and storms, continued to dominate disaster occurrence figures in March 2018. During the month, flash-flooding events due to extreme rainfall within a short amount of time, occasionally triggering landslides as a secondary disaster, as evident in several events across Indonesia. Localised strong winds and storms caused damage in Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.
In terms of geological hazards, moderate-to-strong earthquakes (≥ M 5.0) were observed in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, triggering minor local disruptions without having a significant impact on communities. The ASEAN Earthquake Information Center (AEIC) recorded four earthquakes with a magnitude stronger than M 6.0, three of these-originating in Papua New Guinea – were felt as far across as the Papua Province of Indonesia. Volcanic activities of Mount Mayon in the Philippines continued to affect more than 90,000 people in the nearby Albay Province. On Mount Sinabung, Mount Ijen and Mount Dieng (in East and Central Java provinces Indonesia), toxic gas releases were recorded, and while there were no significant eruptions, the release on Mount Ijen prompted a mandatory evacuation of local communities.
OUTLOOK FOR APRIL-MAY 2018
According to the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Center (ASMC), the April-May 2018 season can expect slightly below-normal to near-normal rainfall. This is forecasted for most parts of Southeast Asia, except the Philippines. During April 2018, slightly above-normal rainfall is forecast over the northern regions of Kali-mantan and Sulawesi, and western parts of Papua in Indonesia. Towards May 2018, slightly below normal rainfall is expected for most parts of Kalimantan (Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam), Sumatra, Java, Bali and the Nusa Tenggara archipelago of Indonesia. ASMC also stated that there is around 60% chance of La Niña conditions lasting until to end of April 2018, and then a return to neutral conditions during May.
Indonesian Centre for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation PVMBG states that for April 2018, areas in western Sumatra, south of central Java, north-eastern Borneo, eastern Sulawesi and northern Papua will be prone to ground movement inducing, landslide events. Continuous monitoring for potential humani-tarian consequences will also be required due to the activity of Mount Sinabung (‘PVMBG’s arlet level: warning) and Mount Agung (‘PVMBG’s arlet level: watch) in Indonesia, as well as Mount Mayon and Mt. Kanlaon (PHIVOLCS’ alert level 2, – moderate level of unrest) in the Philippines. Moderate-to-strong earthquakes are still expected in the bordering region between Papua (Indonesia) and Papua New Guinea.
Written by : Mizan Bisri, Qing Yuan Pang
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 details of data and information are available at: http://adinet.ahacentre.org/reports.