Indonesia + 2 more

ASEAN Weekly Disaster Update, 22 - 28 April 2019

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REGIONAL SUMMARY

• Floods and rain-induced landslide affected Indonesia, including its capital city of Jakarta. In the Mekong sub-region, Myanmar was hit by a hailstorm, with some hails reportedly as large as golf balls, and consequent flooding. While the Philippines was shaken with two (2) consecutive earthquakes – one (1) in Luzon and one (1) in Visayas, with magnitudes 6.1 and 6.5 respectively.

• HIGHLIGHT: The unrelated back-to-back strong earthquakes in the Philippines were generated by two different sources – Zambales Fault Line and Leyte Island Fault Line respectively. However, both earthquakes sent a strong message to the Philippines on how sudden and damaging, earthquakes can be; especially that its administrative and economic capital – Metro Manila, is pierced by an active fault line which can generate a magnitude 7.2 earthquake – the West Valley Fault System (WVFS). A devastating earthquake which can be generated by the WVFS is one of the three scenarios that the ASEAN, through the AHA Centre, is preparing for. All standard operating procedures and standby arrangements to respond to these disasters, as a region, are documented in the Standard Operating Procedure for Regional Standby Arrangements and Coordination of Joint Disaster Relief and Emergency Response Operations (SASOP) and ASEAN Joint Disaster Response Plan (AJDRP).

• HYDRO-METEO-CLIMATOLOGICAL: Most of the ASEAN region experienced generally wet weather, with the exemption of northern Mekong sub-region which remained to be generally dry. According to the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), persistent hotspots with slight to dense haze continued to be observed in Thailand and Myanmar. On the brighter side, Transboundary Smoke Haze in Mekong sub-region was downgraded to Alert Level 2 on 24 April 2019, after more than two (2) months of being in Alert Level 3 – the highest alert level.

• GEOPHYSICAL: A total of 11 earthquakes with magnitude 5.0 and above were recorded in Indonesia (BMKG) and the Philippines (PHIVOLCS). Two (2) of these resulted to casualties, displacement, and damages to structures – both in the Philippines. Meanwhile, four (4) volcanoes, all in Indonesia (PVMBG), are under monitoring – Agung, Karangetang, and Soputan, which are all in Alert Level 3; and Sinabung, which is in Alert Level 4 (the highest alert level for volcanoes in Indonesia).

• OUTLOOK: The ASMC expects scattered rain showers in most of the ASEAN region, except in the northern Mekong sub-region, where hazy conditions are still expected to persist. Meanwhile, Myanmar’s Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH) is currently monitoring a weather system which might affect the country – Tropical Cyclone “FANI”. The tropical cyclone is still in southeast Bay of Bengal, about 500-kilometre east of Sri Lanka, but is forecasted to move in a north-westerly then north-easterly direction in the coming days, potentially threatening the states of Rakhine and Ayeyarwady.

• The reported disasters were within the coping capacities of the respective affected Member States.