Philippines + 4 more

Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (14 - 20 December 2021)

Originally published



Typhoon Rai (locally named Odette) made first landfall on 16 December in Surigao del Norte Province before crossing central-southern Philippines, making landfall in the Visayas and Mindanao Islands, as well as Palawan. Intensifying from a tropical storm to a super typhoon within hours, Rai brought torrential rains, violent winds, landslides and storm surges, making nine landfalls in seven provinces. An estimated 2.2 million people in more than 4,000 communities have been affected, An estimated 674,000 displaced people are reported in five regions (VI, VIII, VIII, X, MIMAROPA and Caraga), with 460,000 people in evacuation centers. A total of 139,000 houses are reportedly damaged, including 53,800 totally damaged. Access to affected areas is challenging, with road networks blocked or damaged, and seaports and airports damaged. The frontline response is being led by Government authorities, armed forces, the Red Cross, and others involved in evacuation, search, and rescue efforts in very difficult circumstances and logistics. The Government of the Philippines has accepted the Humanitarian Country Team’s offer of international assistance to support the Government’s efforts. A coordinated response by the UN agencies, NGOs, and private sector partners in country is already underway to meet immediate needs in shelter, health, food, protection, and other life-saving assistance.


A 7.4 magnitude earthquake on 14 December under the Flores sea has displaced an estimated 16,600 people in Selayar Islands in South Sulawesi. While damage assessments are still underway, 768 houses are reportedly damaged as of the time of reporting. Floods and landslides on 16-19 December in North Sumatra (Gunung Sitoli, and Mandailing Natal districts) and West Sumatra (Pesisir Selatan and Agam districts) directly affected about 40,000 people or 11,800 households for several days. These disasters have been responded by local governments, with support of provincial and national government authorities. In Selayar Islands, national government mobilizes two helicopters to support the emergency response.


The humanitarian situation in southeast Myanmar remains volatile due to escalating armed clashes between the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) and Ethnic Armed Organisations (EAOs) and/or local People’s Defence Forces (PDFs) in several states. There is a particular concern about the humanitarian impact of fighting that erupted on 15 December in Kayin State between the combined forces of MAF and the Border Guard Force and the forces of the Karen National Liberation Army and Democratic Karen Benevolent Army. The fighting has forced thousands of people into internal and cross-border displacement. Approximately 7,000 people reportedly sought refuge in schools and monasteries in nearby villages and some fled into nearby forests. In addition, about 3,000 people reportedly fled across the border to Thailand on 17 December. Local communities and religious associations provided affected people with critical assistance, including food, water and relief items. Overall, as of 13 December, a total of 295,700 people remain displaced across Myanmar since 1 February, according to UNHCR figures. Tens of thousands of people have also fled into neighbouring countries since February 2021.


Torrential rains since 17 December have affected many parts of Malaysia. According to the national disaster management agency NADMA, the heavy rainfall has caused floods in 33 districts of the 8 states (Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Kalantan, Terenganu, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan and Melaka) and have affected 14,023 families. Pahang is the worst affected with over 34,000 evacuated people, followed by Selangor where over 22,000 people were evacuated. The Malaysian Government and local authorities – civilian agencies, police and military – are providing relief efforts. The office of the Prime Minister has allocated US$23.7 million for the response and reparation of damaged houses and infrastructure and affirmed that more resources are being mobilized to support the flood responses. More rain and storms are forecast in several states on the Malaysia Peninsula in the coming days.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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