Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (17 - 23 September 2019)
LAO PDR/ THAILAND/ CAMBODIA
Tropical depressions Podul and Kajiki passed through the Greater Mekong Region and have brought widespread flooding in southern Laos, northeast Thailand, and Cambodia. In Laos, more than 580,000 people were reportedly affected, at least 28 killed, and an estimated 100,000 people have been displaced. The flood waters are reportedly slowly receding. Following the emergency response to meet life-saving needs, the authorities are now assessing post disaster needs and damages.
In Thailand, there are 4 provinces (Ubon Ratchathani, Yasothorn, Roi-et, and Srisaket) where the floods remain severe. Currently, the disaster is level 3 or ‘Large Scale’ (highest level is 4). More than 18,000 people were reportedly displaced in 45 evacuation centers in Ubonratchathani and Srisaket provinces. The Thai Government continues to lead the response with support from the military, Thai Red Cross and the private sector.
In Cambodia, flooding along the Mekong basin and Tonle Sap River has affected some 90,000 households and displaced 13,000 families, as of 20 September. 14 people are known to have died. Since 17 September, 51 provinces in 10 districts have been affected by heavy rains and flooding. As well as damage to houses, 23 health centres, 264 schools, and more than 42,000 hectares of agricultural land have been affected. The Government has allocated USD$500,000 for the flood response, and has delivered food assistance to 10,000 households.
On 19 September, the Department of Health announced the re-emergence of polio in the Philippines and declared a national polio outbreak. Two polio cases were confirmed: a 3-year-old girl from Lanao del Sur in Mindanao and a 5-year-old boy from Laguna in Luzon. Polio was also detected in samples taken from sewage in Manila and Davao as part of the regular environmental surveillance. The country was declared polio-free in 2000, with the last case of the disease reported in 1993.
The Government has launched a mass immunization campaign, with support from WHO and UNICEF.
Fires and haze continue to affect a number of regions of Indonesia and neighboring countries, including Malaysia. On 23 September, 637 fire hotspots in Indonesia were detected by satellite imagery. The six worst affected provinces have declared an emergency status to accelerate emergency responses. A number of commercial flights in these provinces were cancelled and many schools have been temporary closed. Government capacities mobilized to respond to the haze include over of 9,000 personnel, 42 helicopters, and a number of C-130 planes to put out fires, including with the application of weather modification technology to induce artificial rains. The Red Cross and eight members of Humanitarian Forum Indonesia are also carrying out disaster management efforts in 11 provinces.