Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (7 - 13 January 2020)
The Taal Volcano, located about 70 km south of Manila, erupted on 12 January, sending out an ash plume 10-15 km high. Widespread ashfall was recorded in several locations, including the cities of Manila and Quezon. More than 75 volcanic earthquakes have been felt in nearby areas, at intensities ranging from II to V. National authorities raised the alert level to four (out of 5) and have ordered the evacuation of people in areas within a 14 km radius. Health authorities have also warned the public to take precautions due to the health effects of exposure to volcanic ash and gases. As of 13 January, more than 38,000 people are taking shelter in 159 evacuation centres. It is estimated that the total population within the radius of the 14 km danger zone is nearly 500,000 people. Initial priority needs reported in affected areas are the rapid procurement of suitable face masks, non-food items, including hygiene/dignity kits, and portalets for evacuation centres.
38,000 people displaced
The measles outbreaks in American Samoa, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga continue, but with fewer cases reported in the past week. The situation in other Pacific Islands and Territories is being closely monitored with on-site deployment of experts for surveillance and remote preparedness support from WHO, UNICEF, and other partners. As of 7 January 2020, there have been 5,697 cases in Samoa, 622 cases in Tonga, 27 in Fiji and 10 in American Samoa.
6,356 measles cases
The total number of people currently displaced in Rakhine State due to the ongoing armed conflict between the Myanmar Armed Forces and the Arakan Army (AA) has reached nearly 50,000 as of 6 January. The number in Paletwa Township, Chin State, remains unchanged with 1,800 people in 13 sites. Explosive hazards including landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) continue to pose a serious threat to civilians and IED incidents are frequently reported in Rakhine State. Four students died and five people including one teacher were critically injured in an explosion Buthidaung Township on 7 January.
50,000 people displaced