From January to August 2015, there have been 1,160 disaster events. Some parts of Indonesia have experienced drought, as well as forest and land fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan. These fires started to disrupt activities. Smoke has reached the highest danger level, monitored through the Air Pollution Standard Index. BNPB reported that in August 2015 alone, 34 disasters occurred with whirlwind being the most frequent followed by landslide.
CHINA / JAPAN
Tropical Cyclone Dujuan is currently a Category 4 storm about 200km east of Taiwan province of China.
The China Meteorological Administration issued warnings for the powerful typhoon which is scheduled to make landfall on 29 Sep. Given that there are public holidays in China, the government is working to ensure the safety of tourists visiting seaside areas.
In Japan, warnings for heavy rain, flood, storm, high waves and storm surge are in place for Ishigakijima and Yonagunijima. Flights and ships to/from these islands are cancelled.
Floods and landslides affected over 1.3 million people, including 297,000 households displaced in Jul and Aug, according to Government reports. At least 106 people are confirmed dead. The Government, supported by local organisations, UN and INGOs, continues to lead the response, including clean-up, search and rescue and provision of relief assistance.
1.3 million people affected
On 8 Aug Typhoon Soudelor killed six people in Taiwan, Province of China.
On 9 Aug Souledor hit Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Anhui provinces in mainland China.
Heavy rains during the last two weeks have caused floods and landslides in several parts of the country. On 31 Jul, the President’s Office announced natural disaster zones in Chin State, Sagaing Region, Magway Region and Rakhine State. As of 2 Aug, the Government has reported over 200,000 people affected and 36 people killed. This figure is likely to rise as more information becomes available.
The Government is leading the response providing food, water, medicines, shelter, non-food items, cash and other relief items.
Heavy seasonal rainfall on 14-19 Jul caused flooding in Sagaing Region.
On 23 Jul, the Government's Relief and Resettlement Department (RRD) reported that some 70,000 people were affected by the floods in 11 townships, with nine fatalities and over 12,000 houses damaged.
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).
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.
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.
Typhoon Chan-Hom made landfall early on 11 Jul in Zhujiajian Township in the island city of Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, as a category 1 typhoon before being downgraded to a tropical storm on 12 Jul. Chan-Hom is decreasing intensity as it moves northeast. Some 1.9 million people in nine cities were affected by the storm, including more than 1.1 million evacuated as a precaution. No casualties are reported.
1.1 million people evacuated
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.
OCHA in the Pacific
The Pacific is one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world. Small, vulnerable island states are isolated by vast expanses of ocean. They experience frequent and intense disasters with disproportionately high economic, social and environmental consequences.
In 1999, OCHA established a Regional Office for the Pacific to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors
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.