Drought conditions have been reported in the MIMAROPA Region, Region IX, Region XII, BARMM and Metro Manila. As of 1 April, ten provinces have declared a State of Calamity because of the drought. More than 13,600 ha of agricultural crops, mostly rice and corn, have reportedly been affected with losses estimated at PhP1.33 billion (US$25.6 million).
Mindanao, a major food producing region with the highest levels of poverty in the country, is the most severely affected area, with farmers and fisherfolk already vulnerable due to conflict and natural hazards. Since January, provinces in central and western Mindanao have experienced below normal rainfall conditions, which are predicted to continue. In Cotabato province alone, some 360,000 people are currently affected by drought.
In February, Cyclone Oma drove a cargo ship onto a reef at Rennell Island, spilling heavy oil and contaminating nearby areas. An UNDAC and environmental assessment team completed its first set of assessments at the oil spill site on Rennell Island on 31 March. This was a scoping mission for the full environmental impact assessment which will take place over the next two months. The mission team is working closely with the government.
More than 180 people have been displaced to four locations in Namtu Township, Shan State following fighting between ethnic armed groups on 22 March. Since early January 2019, more than 11,000 people have been displaced by fighting in Shan State.
As of 1 April, over 10,860 people who had been displaced in six townships of Shan State have returned home, leaving some 160 people who are still displaced in Hsipaw Township. On 30 March a landmine incident was reported in Namtu Township; three people, including two children, were reportedly killed and four women were injured.
As of 1 April, eight states - Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh – are currently experiencing drought, largely attributed to the failure of the northeast monsoon. This has been exacerbated by the early onset of high temperatures, with the south of the country experiencing heat wave conditions since early March. The Government has deployed inter-ministerial central teams (IMCT) to affected states, and farmers are being provided with fodder, water and relief packages.
On 31 March and 1 April, several earthquakes occurred off the east coast of India, approximately 60km northeast of Grand Nicobar island in the Andaman sea. The strongest of these earthquakes was 5.2M with the majority measuring less than 5M. These earthquakes triggered tsunami warnings and advisories in several nearby countries. As of 1 April, these warnings have been lifted and to date no tsunamis have been reported.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.