MYANMAR According to the Relief and Resettlement Department (RRD), over 58,000 people have been affected and 21 people killed by strong winds, hail and heavy rains in various parts of the country since 19 April. The severe weather destroyed 1,900 houses and damaged a further 20,000 homes. Authorities are continuing to validate the impact of the disaster. The RRD is providing cash assistance and relief items to households whose homes were destroyed or damaged.
The current El Niño started in Asia and the Pacific region from as early as March 2015. It reached strong levels in some countries in July 2015. In many countries the effects of the phenomenon remained strong throughout the first quarter of 2016. However, the humanitarian impacts have now become critical in many countries and humanitarian response have been ramping up.
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:
From 4 to 8 April, a series of tropical depressions and the passage of Tropical Cyclone Zena near the island of Viti Levu caused widespread flooding, further compounding the impact of Cyclone Winston which struck the Fijian islands in February. Three fatalities were reported and more than 12,000 people sheltered in evacuation centres. The floods washed away seeds planted after Cyclone Winston, increasing the country’s vulnerability to food insecurity in the coming months.
Beginning on 4 April, heavy rain from two tropical disturbances continues to fall on communities affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston where thousands of people are still reliant on transitional shelter. Low-lying villages were evacuated. In the north and west of the country, roads were cut and schools closed. The Cyclone Winston response is moving into the early recovery phase. Priorities include providing permanent shelter and water and sanitation for 350,000 people. Some 800,000 planting materials were distributed
A month after Tropical Cyclone Winston struck Fiji, the Government-led response has delivered life-saving assistance to hundreds of thousands of people. The first round of emergency food distributions reached more than 370,000 people and access to safe drinking water has been restored for 150,000 people. An additional 100,000 people still need water assistance.
Temporary learning spaces have enabled classes to resume in 95 schools. A State of Natural Disaster was extended for another month.
BNPB reported that in February 2016 alone, 286 disasters occurred with flood being the most common followed by landslide, whirlwinds and flash flood. Resulting a total of 31 deaths, and at least 446,197 people affected.
As of 11 March, some 14,800 people affected by Typhoon Winston remain in 476 evacuation centres. All evacuation centres in Central Division have closed and only three remain open in Northern Division. In Eastern Division, however, 7,800 people remain in the centres including people from the most severely affected islands including Koro.
The 2015-2016 El Niño has passed its peak but it remains strong and will continue to influence the global climate. It is expected to weaken in the coming months and fade away during the second quarter of 2016. The World Meteorological Organization states that models indicate a return to an El Niño neutral state during the second quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, strong El Niño conditions are quite likely through March-April. It is too early to predict if there will then be a swing to La Niña (the opposite of El Niño).
On 4 March, the Government of Fiji and humanitarian partners jointly launched a Flash Appeal seeking US$38.6 million to respond to the life-saving and protection needs of 350,000 people affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston. To enable partners to provide urgent humanitarian assistance, US$8 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund was allocated for the Fiji response. Nearly 18,500 houses have been damaged or destroyed by the cyclone and more than 18,000 people remain in evacuation centres.
Clashes between Government forces and lawless elements displaced more than 17,000 people in Maguindanao province. Two separate incidents occurred on 5 and 10 Feb, leaving five civilians injured (three men, one boy and one girl).
17,000 people displaced
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Between 28 and 31 Jan, flooding was reported in both Sumatra and Java. Approximately 2,600 houses were inundated for days and at least six bridges connecting villages in Aceh were damaged. This is in addition to the 4,900 houses that were inundated the previous week and where water has now receded.
Local authorities reported no casualties and provided basic relief assistance.
2,600 houses inundadated
60 million PEOPLE WILL BE AFFECTED BY EL NIÑO IN THE FOUR MOST AFFECTED REGIONS
2.8 million PEOPLE REQUIRE HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE IN GUATEMALA AND HONDURAS
10.2 million PEOPLE IN NEED OF EMERGENCY FOOD IN ETHIOPIA
14 million FOOD INSECURE PEOPLE IN SOUTHERN AFRICA – EXCLUDING SOUTH AFRICA
El Niño status
Between 19 and 23 Jan, local authorities reported floods in Sumatra (Jambi and South Sumatra provinces), Java (Central Java and East Java provinces), and Sulawesi (South Sulawesi and North Sulawesi provinces). Following torrential rains, landslides killed three people in Kerinci District, Jambi Province on 20 Jan and one person in Manado Regency, North Sulawesi Province on 21 Jan. This flooding inundated at least 4,900 houses. Local authorities have provided emergency assistance.
Four people killed
Current conditions and forecast
Oceanic and atmospheric indicators suggest the 2015/2016 El Niño has peaked with a return to neutral conditions expected during the second quarter of 2016. However, countries continue to feel the effects of El Niño which include below average precipitation during the rainy season, more intense cyclones in the North-Western Pacific and potentially more frequent cyclones in the South Pacific over the coming weeks, as well as drought in South and South-East Asia.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Ula will start to weaken as it moves south from Vanuatu after spending the past 13 days impacting countries across the Pacific. The cyclone passed close to the southern islands of Vanuatu as a Category 4 system on 10 Jan bringing heavy rain, some localised flooding, crop damage and heavy seas. Assessments are underway but there are no reports of major damage and there have been no requests for international assistance.
India / Bangladesh / Myanmar