Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (16 - 22 January 2018)
The alert level for the Mayon Volcano has been raised to Level-4 due to increased seismic unrest, lava fountaining and explosions. The volcano spewed a 10-kilometer high ash column on 22 January, with authorities warning of an imminent hazardous eruption, possibly within days. The eruption resulted in moderate to heavy ash fall, with low-visibility reported in the towns of Guinobatan, Camalig, and Ligao located to the southwest of the volcano.
The Provincial Government of Albay immediately suspended classes at all schools and advised residents to stay indoors. As of 22 January, 30,000 people have been displaced from their homes across seven municipalities in Albay, and are being hosted in 27 evacuation centres or by relatives and friends. The number of evacuees is expected to increase as local governments are currently evacuating villages within an extended eight-kilometer danger zone, including residents from Legazpi City who had returned to their homes the previous week.
30,000 people displaced
Measles and malnutrition in the remote Asmat District, Papua Province has killed approximately 100 children died since October 2017.
The emergency response to the situation is being led by the Ministry of Health in cooperation with other stakeholders. The Indonesian military has reportedly sent 53 personnel to the area including paramedics, as well as medical equipment, vaccines and 11,100 packages of instant food.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
On 15 January, the Rabaul Volcanological Observatory (RVO) indicated that there continues to be a heightened risk of volcanic activity on Kadovar island. Neighbouring Rup Rup and Biem islands do not currently exhibit any signs of increased volcanic activity.
The Provincial Governor has indicated that the Government is planning to resettle Kadovar islanders on the mainland for up to three years, and will provide support to those who are displaced. On 14 January, the Provincial Government began evacuating Kadovar islanders from Rup Rup to Wewak District on mainland East Sepik. The National Capital District Commission has donated Kina100,000 (US$31,000) to the ongoing relief efforts while several private sector companies have provided in-kind contributions including flour, rice and sugar.
As of 21 January, the number of Rohingya refugees who have crossed into Cox’s Bazar since 25 August has risen to 688,000. It is estimated that 58 per cent of new arrivals are children, and 60 per cent are girls and women including a high number of pregnant (3 per cent) and lactating women (7 per cent). As of 11 January 2018, over 4,000 cases of suspected diphtheria had been reported in Cox’s Bazar, with 32 deaths registered. Over 54 per cent of these deaths occurred among children under five years old.
688,000 New arrivals since 25 Aug 2017