Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (24 - 30 December 2019)
According to government reports, Typhoon Phanfone (locally known as Ursula) displaced 174,000 people and has affected 1.9 million people in over 2,300 barangays (villages). Over 65 per cent of the displaced took shelter in 602 evacuation centres, with more than 63,000 people staying with host families or in open areas. The heavy rains and high winds brought by Phanfone have damaged an estimated 378,000 houses, 400 schools, 100 public structures, and 32 health facilities. Government agencies are coordinating the response, distributing pre-positioned food, shelter kits, and relief assistance in affected regions. Priority needs are food, potable water, and shelter assistance to rebuild damaged houses.
1.9 M people affected
Tropical Cyclone Sarai has been tracking through the provinces of Kadavu and Lau in Fiji as a Category 2 storm since Friday 27th December 2019. As of 30 December, Sarai is projected to move into Ha’apai, Tonga, on the first of January and track towards Niue as a Category 1 storm. In Fiji, about 2,000 people took shelter in about 70 evacuation centres.
2,000 people displaced
Clashes between the Myanmar Military and the Arakan Army (AA) conitinue to be reported regularly in Rakhine State and in Paletwa Township in Chin State. Three explosions (thought to be IEDs) without casualties were reported in Minbya Township on 27 December. A total of 227 people were newly displaced in Sittwe Township in Rakhine State.
227 people newly displaced
A drought affecting the Mekong Region may have a serious impact on crop production and food security in Viet Nam. According to the Viet Nam Disaster Management Authority, the Mekong Delta and Central Highlands regions have been facing abnormal weather that could be attributed to climate change. Retention of water by dams in upstream areas is also seen as contributing to record-low water levels.
The Mekong River levels in June and July 2019 significantly fell compared to previous years, raising concern of exacerbated drought and saline intrusion for the entire Mekong Delta in the 2019-20 dry season. Concerns on the impact this may have on rice crop production have already led to a rise in regional rice export prices.