Asia-Pacific Region 19 - 25 March, 2013, Natural Disasters and Other Events being monitored by the OCHA Regional Office for the Asia-Pacific
Thailand - On 22 March, a fire sparked by a domestic accident broke out in Ban Mae Surin refugee camp in Mae Hong Son province, northwestern Thailand. 30 refugees from Myanmar were killed and four were seriously injured. Relief efforts are being coordinated by the Government of Thailand, as well as provincial and camp authorities. UNHCR, IRC and other NGOs are providing assistance.
Malaysia/Philippines - Since 9 February, about 200 members of the Royal Sulu Army, an armed Islamic group from the southern Philippines, have occupied the Sabah region in Malaysia. They want Malaysia to recognise it as the rightful owner of Sabah, and to renegotiate the terms of the 1963 lease. While a Malaysian military exercise continues in the area, the Filipino Crisis Management Committee reported that over 3,500 people have arrived to the Philippines from Sabah since 5 March. In the Southern Philippines, the Government distributed food and provided shelter. In Malaysia, the Government, Red Crescent and Mercy Malaysia provided food.
Source: OCHA, Media
Myanmar - According to local government reports from Meiktila in Mandalay Division, Myanmar, 9,710 people have been displaced as a result of Buddhist on Muslim violence which flared on 20 and 21 March. IDPs are currently accommodated in six camps. The Government issued an official request for international humanitarian assistance on 23 March. A team comprised of OCHA, WFP, UNICEF and SCF arrived on site on the evening of 24 March to assess the situation. Dispatch of commodities to the area is scheduled for 25 March. Myanmar Red Cross Society and ICRC are already providing medical services and some NFIs are in place.
Bangladesh - On 22 March, 20 people were killed and 300 injured when a tornado moved through 15 villages in Brahmanbaria district. 300 households have been affected.
Indonesia - On 20 March, Mt. Lokon in South Sulawesi erupted without causing any humanitarian concerns. Residents living close to the volcano, including in Tomohon City, were not affected.
Source: OCHA, BPBD
Vanuatu - An earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale jolted Vanuatu region at 08:13:44 GMT on 23 March. There are no reports of damages or casualties.