Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (11 - 17 August 2015)

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 17 Aug 2015

Floods and landslides affected over 1.3 million people, including 297,000 households displaced in Jul and Aug, according to Government reports. At least 106 people are confirmed dead. The Government, supported by local organisations, UN and INGOs, continues to lead the response, including clean-up, search and rescue and provision of relief assistance.

1.3 million people affected

While life-saving activities continue, recovery efforts are underway. In areas where water has receded, cleaning of wells, ponds and water sources, and repairing of roads and bridges is taking place.
Re-planting of rice crops within the next two weeks is a priority. The National Disaster Management Council has developed a draft rehabilitation plan, focusing on early recovery efforts to remedy the impact on livelihoods and markets.

Localised flooding has affected many rural areas and towns in Vientiane, Xaysomboun, Xiengkhouang, Bolikomxay, Luang Namtha, Khammouane, and Phongsaly provinces. As of 13 Aug, the media reported flooding in three additional provinces: Luang Prabang, Xayabouly, and Borkeo. While needs assessments are ongoing, economists warned of a potential shortage of rice and increased food prices in months to come. National and provincial authorities are providing emergency assistance.

The US Geological Survey reported three strong earthquakes last week. On 15 Aug, a shallow 6.6 magnitude quake struck around 460 kms from the capital, Honiara; a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck on 10 Aug, followed by a 6.6 magnitude quake on 13 Aug. No damages or Pacificwide tsunami warnings were issued. The National Disaster Management Office continue to strengthen local disaster plans.
The Solomons are part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire", a zone of tectonic activity known for frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions.

A warehouse filled with dangerous chemicals exploded in a violent blast in the Chinese port city of Tianjin on the evening of 12 August. Many people were injured with 114 confirmed deaths. More than 95 are missing, including 85 firefighters.

114 deaths

Over 5,600 households are located within one kilometer of the warehouse and there are concerns for residents’ health as toxic airborne gas could form when rain and calcium carbide mix.

As of 17 Aug, Typhoon Goni is west of Guam and Saipan where it delivered strong winds and heavy rain between 14-16 Aug. On 17 Aug local authorities in the Northern Mariana Islands are assessing damages. Initial reports indicate minimal impact. Most of Saipan is without power or running water since Typhoon Soudelor hit on 2 Aug. People continue to shelter in tents provided by the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Authority.

Meanwhile, Typhoon Atsani is churning several hundred kilometers to the east of Goni.
Both Atsani and Goni are expected to move towards parts of east Asia in the coming days.5


The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) reports over 151,120 people are affected by drought in 31 Divisions across four districts since early Jul. The DMC is monitoring the situation and district authorities are providing water trucking services to the affected people.

151,120 people affected

The Department of Meteorology reports that the Southwest monsoon for 2015 has resulted in below average rainfall in the southern and western region of the country. On 15 Aug, over 50 houses were damaged due to gale-force winds in the Galkiriyagama area and Anuradhapura district. National authorities are expecting drought conditions to ease over the coming weeks.

Precipitation over the next three months is expected to greatly diverge from average levels. The Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea are very likely to receive less rain than normal. Meanwhile Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, and Micronesia are very likely to receive greater than average rainfall.

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