A magnitude 6.5 and 7.3 earthquake struck Kumamoto Prefecture, in southern Japan, on 14 and 16 April. As of 18 April, 12:00 p.m. local time (GMT+9), authorities confirmed 42 deaths, 1,095 injuries and 11 people are still missing. Some 112,100 people remain in 1,021 evacuation centres in Kumamoto, Oita, Fukuoka, Miyazaki and Nagasaki prefectures – the majority of the affected are in Kumamoto. Aftershocks continue to be felt in the affected areas.
Welcome to the First Edition of the Regional Consultative Group (RCG) on Humanitarian CivilMilitary Coordination for Asia and the Pacific Newsletter. This Newsletter will be published every two months to provide an update on the RCG work as well as to inform the UN-CMCoord community about upcoming UN-CMCoord events in the Asia-Pacific region.
For this edition, as chair of the RCG for 2016, the Government of the Philippines would like to share with RCG members the following updates:
Key displacement and population movement in 2015
Boat crisis: Around 30,000 people estimated to have departed from Bangladesh and Myanmar via the Bay of Bengal in 2015. Over 1,000 people rescued o the coast of Myanmar in 2015.
Floods: 1.7 million people temporarily displaced by floods and landslides in June-August 2015.
Most quickly returned. 9,000 people still in evacuation sites at the end of 2015.
India / Bangladesh / Myanmar
A rapid assessment launched after Cyclone Komen reports that a total of 2.6 million people affected, with Sathkia, Chittagong and Noakhali districts the worst affected. Nearly 220,000 households are in need of emergency assistance, the vast majority of whom require immediate food assistance. An estimated US$6.3 million is required to cover the needs and proposals were sent to donors.
2.6 million people affected
In July 2015, the Emergency Relief Coordinator set aside US$70.5 million from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for chronically underfunded aid operations to assist millions of people forced from their homes by violence and instability. The allocations from CERF’s Underfunded Emergencies Window, now totalling $168.9 million in 2015, are a last resort and present a life-line for some of the most vulnerable populations around the world in protracted and chronically underfunded crises.
(New York, 5 August 2015) United Nations humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien today released US$70 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for chronically underfunded aid operations to help millions of people forced from their homes by violence and instability.
Temperatures in the Asia-Pacific region can go very high with central India reaching 50oC or more. The Tibetan plateau rarely exceeds 20oC because of its high elevation.
These temperatures are based on average highs over a period of approximately 50 years. Maximum temperatures in the region may therefore be from different months of the year and a temperature in any given location may exceed these maximums.
Köppen-Geiger Climate Classification
The highly referenced climate classification map of Wladimir Köppen was published for the first time in 1900 and updated in its latest version by Rudolf Geiger in 1961.
Climate classification is applied to a broad range of topics in climate and climate change research as well as in physical geography, hydrology, agriculture, biology and educational aspects.
The Human Footprint
Human influence on the earth’s land surface is a global driver of ecological processes on the planet, en par with climatic trends, geological forces and astronomical variations. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University joined together to systematically map and measure the human influence on the earth’s land surface today.
This map shows the average amount of precipitation falling in a year, based on approximately 50 years of data. The figures shown do not therefore represent the amount of precipitation that may occur in any given year.
Using an innovative approach with GIS and remote sensing, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory LandScanTM is the community standard for global population distribution. At approximately 1 km resolution LandScan is the finest resolution global population distribution data available and represents an ambient population (average over 24 hours).
Drought and extreme cold weather since early Jul in remote and inland Papua Province, particularly Lani Jaya and Puncak Jaya Districts, has created acute food insecurity. Eleven people died, including seven children and 20,160 households are reportedly affected.
Local government is providing assistance, including 28 tonnes of food.1
Following days of heavy rain, there was flooding in Aceh Jaya District of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Province on 15 Jul. Over 7,900 houses were inundated and 25,750 people affected, including almost 2,300 displaced.
In this issue
Nepal Earthquake P.1
Vanuatu: Tropical Cyclone Pam P.3
Preparing for disasters P.5
World Conference on DRR P.6
Business engagement P.6
• The Nepal Earthquake and Tropical Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu were the most severe disasters in the first half of 2015.
• In Nepal, the humanitarian response included a major search and rescue initiative from 31 countries as well as improved response in the field of community engagement and gender.
Heavy rainfall across West Bengal caused landslides killing an estimated 40 people with many still missing.
Continuing rainfall is impeding relief efforts as the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) attempts to carry out rescue efforts.
There is a shortage of food and safe drinking water in the affected areas.
40 people dead
The NDRF is working alongside national disaster teams at the landslide sites. Heavy rainfall is expected to continue up to 9 Jul.
Elevation and Bathymetry
The region is home to the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest (Sagarmatha in Nepal and Chomolungma in China) at 8,848m, as well as the deepest surveyed point in the oceans,
Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench at 10,911m.
The Asia-Pacific region contains a diverse array of cultures, environments, and societies. One of the fastest growing economic regions in the world, it is also the most disaster-prone. While natural disasters affect the region frequently, as this region continues along its path of development, regional partnerships will be essential in developing the capacities of countries to reduce risk and vulnerability and to respond to disasters.
>500,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance
More than 500,000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Myanmar in 2015.
This includes about 130,000 people in Rakhine State, who remain displaced following outbreaks of inter-communal violence in 2012, and over 100,000 people displaced by conflict in Kachin and northern Shan states since 2011.