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ASEAN Weekly Disaster Update, 28 Oct – 03 Nov 2019

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During the week, a series of earthquakes in Mindanao have dominated the numbers of affected casualties across the ASEAN region. More than six (6) earthquakes with magnitude 5.0 and above occurred in the Cotabato Province and have displaced thousands. Separately, Tropical Storm MATMO has also caused heavy rainfall in Viet Nam and continuous rains in the Philippines caused flooding in parts of South Cotabato, while another low pressure system in the South China Sea may develop this week.


The Philippine’s National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that two earthquakes with M 6.6 and M 6.5 that occurred within last week (29 and 31 October 2019 sequentially) in Cotabato, have affected close to 200,000 people and displaced more than 30,000. Thousands of infrastructures particularly houses and public facilities were reported as severely damaged. The NDRRMC is actively coordinating with regional offices and have supported the response, including sending relief items and search and rescue teams. Currently, it has been declared that no international assistance is required as the disaster is still within the national capacities.


As the inter-seasonal monsoon period continues, prevailing winds from the northeast brought downpours to most parts of the ASEAN region, including the southern part which experienced severe drought and wildfires during the previous Southwest Monsoon season. There were high rain intensities in the South China Sea, affecting the Philippines and Viet Nam, due to Tropical Storm MATMO which formed last week.


There were ten (10) earthquake events with magnitude 5.0 and above that occurred last week, of which three (3) occurred in Indonesia (BMKG) and six (6) in Mindanao Island, the Philippines (PHIVOLCS). The multiple earthquakes in the Philippines have caused severely damaged infrastructures, especially houses and schools.


The ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) forecasts rainy conditions over parts of the Philippines in the next few days due to a low pressure system over the South China Sea. In addition, isolated showers will be expected in the northern ASEAN region as the prevailing winds blow from northeast to east, while the southern ASEAN region, especially in Java (Indonesia), will experience drier conditions with some scattered showers.