Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (2 - 8 May 2017)
On 8 May, Tropical Cyclone Donna intensified into a Category 5 storm (winds of up to 215 km/h near the centre and gusts of 300 km/h) as it continues to move across Vanuatu towards New Caledonia. Over the weekend, Torba Province, with a population of about 10,000 people, was severely hit. Provincial authorities have conducted a rapid assessment with Community Disaster Committees on Loh, Hui, Tegua and Toga islands.
Preliminary reports indicate significant housing damage; however, communication remain disrupted.
The National Emergency Operations Centre was activated and is coordinating the in-country response. No fatalities have been confirmed. On 5 May, the Pacific Humanitarian Country Team offered international assistance to the Government and remains on standby to provide support.
Since October 2016 an estimated 74,000 Rohingya people have crossed from Myanmar into Bangladesh. As of March 2017, an estimated 100,000 undocumented Myanmar nationals are living in Kuthupalong, Leda and Balukhali makeshift settlements, with many more in host communities in Ukiah and Teknaf Upazilas of Cox’s Bazar District.
Humanitarian assistance, including shelter, food, water and sanitation, nutrition, education and health, is being provided to people residing in both makeshift settlements and refugee camps.
On 3 May, flash floods in Ciwidey (Bandung, West Java) washed away four houses and damaged more than 40 houses. In another incident, 200 houses in Cirebon were damaged by a whirlwind on 5 May. Local authorities have provided basic relief assistance to the affected households.
200 houses damaged by whirlwind
According to the Australia Bureau of Meteorology’s El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Outlook, there is around a 50 per cent chance (twice the normal likelihood) of an El Niño event developing in 2017. Since the beginning of 2017, sea surface temperatures have continued to warm in the Pacific. To mitigate the potential impact of El Niño, countries in the Pacific, including Papua New Guinea, have started to initiate preparedness activities. In 2016, at least 11 countries across the Asia-Pacific region were affected by severe weather events associated with El Niño. While the effects of El Niño have not been consistent they have generally comprised of extended dry spells or drought leading to water shortages, prolonged lean seasons and food shortages.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.