Indonesia + 4 more

Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (2 - 8 March 2021)

Originally published



The humanitarian situation in the country remains dire, with some aid operations having been disrupted since 1 February. Close to 1 million people identified at the beginning of the year as needing assistance, including more than 350,000 internally displaced people, still need help. Humanitarian partners across the country are making all efforts to continue providing life-saving activities, but the operating environment remains difficult. There are continued disruptions to communication, transportation and supply chains, and shortages of cash for operations due to limitations on banking services. Market prices in some areas are rising as a result. COVID-19 testing capacities and vaccination planning have also been severely impacted.


On 5-6 March, Tropical Cyclone Niran passed over the Coral Sea along the western coast of New Caledonia. One person was reportedly injured and up to 400 people were evacuated to accommodation centres in Nouméa. About 39,000 houses experienced power outages and water shortage was reported in Marè Municipality (Loyalty Islands). Several buildings, including one school, were damaged across Grande Terre and Loyalty Islands.


On 2 March, Mt Sinabung in North Sumatra Province erupted and release ash clouds that rose about 5 km above the volcano, with the volcanic material drifting 3km to the east/southest. There are no reports of fatalities or injuries. The volcano’s warning level remains at level III and the local government recommends activities to be suspended within a radius distance of 3 km from the summit, as well as a sectoral radius of 5 km south-east, and 4 km for the east-north sector. Local government and the Indonesian Red Cross have conducted assessments, distributed masks and clean water, and have assisted in the clean-up of volcanic ash.


About 1,020 people remain displaced in the municipality of Sultan sa Barongis in Maguindanao province following a armed clashes between clans on 26 February. A taskforce composed of the local government, military, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the council of elders was formed to negotiate a settlement. While the taskforce already advised for safe return, the displaced families are still reluctant to return for fear that the conflict may re-ignite as both parties have yet to reconcile. The Bangsamoro regional government, supported by the Protection Cluster, conducted a needs assessment on 2 March and noted immediate needs for food assistance, water, and sanitation.


Three powerful earthquakes struck off the northern coast of New Zealand in the early morning of 5 March 2021, local time. According to the National Emergency Management Agency, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck northeast of Gisborne, North Island, which was followed by magnitudes 7.4 and 8.1 earthquakes that struck the Kermadec Islands region. The National Emergency Management Agency issued tsunami warnings following all three earthquakes, affecting a large part of the country’s coastal area, where a number of preventative evacuations were undertaken.
According to Fire and Emergency New Zealand, the impact of the earthquake and relatively small tsunamis were minimal, with no injuries nor reported damage.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit