PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Volcanic activity has been reported on Manam Island, off the north-east coast of Papua New Guinea’s mainland. Volcanic eruptions began on 8 March, when a plume of volcanic ash reaching 15 km high was recorded moving in a westerly direction over Madang, East Sepik and Sandaun provinces. This initial eruption was followed by a continuous volcanic eruption reaching 10,000 ft (3 km) high.
The population of Manam was displaced from the island in 2004 following a volcanic eruption, with some 15,000 former Manam residents still living in a Care Centre (evacuation centre) in Bogia. IOM estimates that as of November 2021, approximately 4,200 people had returned to Manam and were living in eight communities, including one primary school and one health centre. The entire population on the island is affected by the recent volcanic eruption.
The Madang Provincial Disaster Centre (PDC) is currently conducting an initial impact assessment. Initial findings from the PDC note ashfall on food gardens and contamination of water sources. There have been some reports of diarrhoea due to consumption of contaminated water. Temporary food insecurity and nutrition concerns were also raised.
The PNG Disaster Management Team is closely monitoring the situation with the National Disaster Centre and Rabaul Observatory.
As heavy rains continued in many parts of the country, floods were reported between 8-15 March in Tanah Laut District in South Kalimantan, Tuban District in East Java, and Garut and Bandung districts in West Java In total, about 8,000 people were directly affected by the floods and two people were killed in East and West Java due to the floods. Local government agencies and local organizations have responded to the humanitarian needs. The Indonesian Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) estimates that precipitation will centime to be high until April, with rainfall reaching more than 200 mm/month in majority parts of the country.
In the country’s southeast, armed clashes between the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) and local People’s Defence Forces (PDFs) have escalated during the reporting period, driving fresh displacement. Airstrikes and heavy artillery shelling were launched in several places of Hpa-pun township in Kayin State, reportedly resulting in civilian casualties and internal displacement. About 700 people from Hpa-pun township were newly displaced to several locations in Kamarmaung Township and in Hlaingbwe township in the first two weeks of March due to the volatile security situation. In Tanintharyi Region, an estimated 150 people have been displaced within Palaw township due to ongoing clashes since early March. In parallel, some 3,050 internally displaced people (IDPs) who had taken refuge in southern Shan returned to their places of origin within Loikaw township between 28 February and 6 March. This was due to a temporary improvement in the security situation in Loikaw town since 15 February.
Humanitarian responders continued to make coordinated efforts to reach people in need with critical life-saving assistance and protection services amid severely restricted access.
Overall, as of 7 March, a total of 228,900 people remain displaced in southeast Myanmar due to conflict and instability since February 2021. Of these, 93,800 IDPs are in Kayah, 69,100 IDPs are in Kayin, 54,000 IDPs are in southern Shan, 7,500 IDPs are in Mon, 3,700 IDPs are in Tanintharyi, and 800 IDPs are in Bago. Nationwide, there are currently 865,700 IDPs, including 370,000 IDPs, who were already displaced before February 2021 and 495,300 displaced since the military takeover
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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