ASEAN Weekly Disaster Update, 4 - 10 February 2019
Regional Summary (Week 6)
The ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) issued Transboundary Smoke Haze Alert Level 3, the highest alert level, on five (5) ASEAN Member States. The issuance is due to observed hotspots exceeding 250 in two (2) consecutive days (6-7 Feb 2019) with dense smoke plumes, and persisting dry weather and prevailing winds blowing towards the region due to the Northeast Monsoon. The ASMC further reported “Moderate to dense smoke from persistent hotspots was observed in Cambodia and Thailand, and the smoke haze was being blown by the prevailing winds to neighbouring areas in Lao PDR and Viet Nam. Hotspot activities with smoke plumes have also been observed in Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam.”
Scattered rainshowers were reported in the equatorial and southern portion of the region. There were flash floods, but water also receded quickly. Fortunately, nothing resulted to a disaster event.
A total of ten (10) earthquakes of M5.0 and above were reported this week in Indonesia (BMKG) and the Philippines (PHIVOLCS). The strongest recorded is a M6.1 earthquake 130-km off the coast of South Nias Regency, Indonesia; while the most active area is Surigao del Norte, Philippines. There was also an observed M5.1 earthquake near the border of Myanmar-India, but is outside the region and no significant effects were reported.
Due to the prevailing Northeast Monsoon, further deterioration of the haze and hotspot situation in the Mekong sub-region is expected. The ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) further forecasts above-normal temperature conditions over most parts of the region and drier conditions with below-average rainfall in Myanmar and the Philippines. This could possibly result to drought or drought-like conditions in the northern portion of the region. Meanwhile, the equatorial and southern portion of the region is still expected to receive above-normal rainfall.