Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (13 - 19 February 2018)
Tropical Cyclone Gita, a category 4 cyclone, struck Tonga on 12 February 2018, causing widespread destruction on the main island of Tongatapu, including the capital of Nuku’alofa, and the neighboring island of ‘Eua. As of 17 February, 4,500 people remain in 108 evacuation centres. Over 1,550 houses have been damaged or destroyed. A one-month State of Emergency has been declared for the whole country until 12 March. NGOs and Red Cross are supporting the Government and partners to respond to the immediate health, shelter and water and sanitation needs of affected communities. Assistance to support the early recovery and education response is also being deployed.
4,500 people in evacuation centres
In Shan State, approximately 180 people from Ho Mong village in Hseni Township were displaced as a result of fighting between the Myanmar Military and the Northern Alliance on 14 and 15 February. The displaced people are staying in a monastery in Kongkaw village where the Government’s Disaster Management Department and the General Administration Department have provided initial assistance including food and relief items.
180 people newly displaced
A Level 4 alert remains raised over Mayon Volcano. Up to 90,000 people in six municipalities and two cities of Albay province are affected, with 62,000 people currently in 57 evacuation centres. The health department has deployed a team from the regional and provincial health offices to reassess the health conditions in evacuation centers, while the Bureau of Fire Protection has conducted fire safety inspections. NGOs are conducting psychosocial activities for children living inside evacuation centers.
90,000 people affected
On 19 February, Mt. Sinabung erupted, sending hot gas more than four kilometres down its slopes and sending ash up to five kilometres into the air. A three kilometre no-activity zone has been put in place. The Government is working on a second round of relocations for 1,900 households. In the first round, 170 households were relocated, with a third round of relocations for 1,100 households planned for later in 2018.
Rohingya refugees continue to arrive in Bangladesh from Myanmar, although at a significantly lower rate than at the end of 2017. In the first week of February 2018, approximately 800 new refugees crossed into Cox’s Bazar. Rohingya refugees are living in extremely congested shelters, in areas that are highly vulnerable to flooding, landslides and other weather-related hazards. This already precarious position is compounded by the approaching monsoon season. Landslide and flood risk hazard mapping reveal that at least 100,000 people are in danger from these risks and require relocation.