An Emergency Committee was convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) on 1 February 2016. Following the advice of the Committee, the Director-General announced the recent cluster of microcephaly and other neurologic disorders reported in Brazil to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
The following syndromes have been flagged: - Acute Fever and Rash: French Polynesia, Palau - Diarrhoea: Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga - Influenza-like illness: Solomon Islands - Prolonged fever: Solomon Islands
Zika virus - Tonga: There has been an increase in the number of suspected zika cases reported in the week ending 17 and 24 January 2016. Two out of nine samples sent to the LabPlus NZ, were RT-PCR positive for Zika virus.
Genetic diversity of livestock can help feed a hotter, harsher world
Despite growing interest in safeguarding biodiversity of livestock and poultry,genetic erosion continues
UN warns current El Niño event is strongest since 1998 and will continue into early 2016
The third Advisory Note on El Nino for Asia-Pacific countries, issued jointly by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES), warns that the current El Nino event is likely to be one of the strongest since 1997-1998 and will persist into the second quarter of 2016.
Super El Niño and climate change cause crop failures putting millions at risk of hunger
At least ten million poor people face hunger this year and next due to both droughts and erratic rains influenced by climate change and the likely development of a ‘super El Niño’.
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.
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.
Following the 7.8M earthquake which struck on 25 Apr and the 7.3M earthquake on 12 May, a total of 8,631 people are confirmed dead, with 14 bodies still unidentified. Nearly 460 health facilities are destroyed. Over 25,000 classrooms collapsed while an additional 10,000 require repair. 456 health facilities destroyed 25,000 classrooms destroyed The monsoon rains are expected to arrive in two weeks, further complicating relief efforts by blocking access routes and exposing over 760,000 families with damaged or destroyed homes to heavy rainfall.1
Physical Exposure to Drought
Drought is a phenomenon that affects more people globally than any other natural hazard. Unlike aridity, which refers to a semi-permanent condition of low precipitation (desert regions), drought results from the accumulated effect of deficient precipitation over a prolonged period of time.
The units used in this product refer to the expected average annual population (2010 as the year of reference) exposed (inhabitants). The dataset includes an estimate of the annual physical exposure to drought. It is based on three sources:
Volcanic Explosivity in Asia-Pacific
This map shows the density of volcanic eruptions based on the explosivity index for each eruption and the time period of the eruption. Eruption information is spread to 100km beyond point source to indicate areas that could be affected by volcanic emissions or ground shaking.
Earthquake Intensity Risk Zones
This map shows earthquake intensity zones in accordance with the 1956 version of the Modified Mercalli Scale (MM), describing the effects of an earthquake on the surface of the earth and integrating numerous parameters such as ground acceleration, duration of an earthquake, and subsoil effects. It also includes historical earthquake reports.