As many as 4.7 million people in 13 Pacific countries (2.4 million in PNG and the total populations of the remaining Pacific nations) are at risk of adverse effects of drought including water shortages, food insecurity and disease.
Governments are taking measures to mitigate the potential impacts of the drought. The government is delivering water to drought affected areas in Fiji.
The Vanuatu government is delivering food to affected communities especially those affected by Tropical cyclone Pam.
As many as 4.7 million people in 11 Pacific countries (2.4 million in PNG and the total populations of the remaining Pacific nations) are at risk of adverse effects of drought including water shortages, food insecurity and disease. Governments are taking measures to mitigate the potential impacts of the drought. The government is delivering water to drought affected areas in Fiji. The Vanuatu government is delivering food to affected communities especially those affected by Tropical cyclone Pam.
The gFSC global dashboard provides a quick snapshot of the country-level Food Security Clusters around the world. The updated dasboard shows that as of October 2015, the country-level Food Security Clusters remain only at 52 percent funded against their yearly requirements
Current conditions and forecast
A strong El Niño prevails in the tropical Pacific Ocean and is expected to be the most powerful manifestation since 1997–98. A weak monsoon season and associated drought is the dominant feature across South and South-East Asia.
Heavy rainfall continued in Japan over the past week with floods and landslides affecting the island of Honshu. The Japan Meteorological Agency issued the maximum "Level 5" flood warning on 11 Sep for the Yoshida River in Miyagi Prefecture and for the Mogamioguni River in Yamagata Prefecture.
As of 14 Sep, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency reported 7 people dead, 15 missing and 15,000 houses and buildings damaged. Search and rescue operations are ongoing. More than 4,000 residents remain in evacuation centres.
7 people dead
Climatologists now agree that the world is facing an unfolding El Niño event. The European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting says that more than half of all climate models are now predicting an El Niño stronger than 1997/8.
Rainfall & El Niño
Less rain in south western Pacic, plunging some countries into drought. More rain in equatorial countries from June -August 2015. If the El Niño is very severe, rainfall may drop steeply from September onwards
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).
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.
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
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.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE PACIFIC?
Hight risk of severe drought in PNG,
Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Niue and Cook Island. The risk of drought is also high for Palau, Northern Marianas and Guam, FSM and Marshall Islands.
Above normal rainfall is expected in Kiribati between June and August 2015
The Pacific Region had nine major emergencies between November 2013 and June 2014.The 2014 - 2015 cyclone season has been one of the most active in terms of the number and intensity of cyclones, as well as the length of season. A total of 9 cyclones were observed with five of these having significant humanitarian consequences.
The unfolding El Niño event is predicted by climate models to be a major event, possibly one of the strongest ever recorded
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE PACIFIC?