The impacts of El Niño continue to be felt across the Pacific. It is expected continue for as long as two years, particularly affecting food security in the region. As many as 13 Pacific countries are at risk. Drought warnings are now in place for Papau New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. A drought watch is in place in the Solomon Islands. Drought alerts are issued for Vanuatu and Palau. Water deliveries are targeting 67,000 (approx. 13 per cent of the pop) people in Fiji and 90,000 (approx. a third of the population) people are targeted with food deliveries in Vanuatu. Key countries of concern are Papau New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Fiji.
13 countries at risk
On 27 Nov, a 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck 52 kms north west of Monywa city in Sagaing Region. The Sagaing General Administration Department deployed to assess the situation in the affected areas and reported 27 pagodas and four schools damaged, as well as several houses. No casualties were reported.
115 people killed
As of 30 Nov, over 52,500 people are affected by flooding in Jaffna District, Northern Province. Over 320 people are displaced due to high risks of landslides in Badulla District.
While conditions in flood-affected districts are improving, the Department of Irrigation reports 18 out of a total 72 major reservoirs are overflowing. With the onset of the Northeast monsoonal rains, floods are expected to trigger continued reservoir overflowing and spill gates will be released to manage water levels. Local disaster management authorities remain on high-alert.
52,500 people affected
On 16-25 Nov frequent earthquakes in West Halmahera district of North Maluku displaced 9,610 people. Some 945 houses and buildings were damaged across 19 villages. Local Government provided basic relief assistance to the affected people.
9,610 people displaced
Heavy rains on 24 Nov caused major floods in Addu city, according to the Maldives Department of Meteorology. Initial media reports indicate over 200 houses damaged. The Maldives National Defence Forces have set up water pumps in the three worst affected wards and sand bags were distributed to minimise flood damage. An assessment is underway by the Government to verify the extent of the damage.
Drier than normal conditions will persist over the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, the Solomons, Fiji and Samoa. Greater than average rainfall is forecasted in Eastern China, as well as in Kiribati.
Source: IRI, Columbia University. November 2015
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