EL NIÑO returns? - Humanitarian snapshot in Asia and Pacific area
INDONESIA – A landslide that struck Banaran Village of Ponorogo District, East Java on 1 April caused two deaths, injured 20 people and damaged approximately 30 homes. 26 people are still missing and around 300 people were evacuated. Local government has declared a two week emergency response and provided basic relief assistance. Heavy equipment has been mobilized in the search and rescue effort, and provincial and national government have provided support including for housing relocation assistance.
MYANMAR – An estimated 4,000 people remain internally displaced in northern Rakhine as a result of the 9 October Border Guard Police post attacks and subsequent security operations. Approximately 16,000 people are estimated to have returned to their places of origin where they are thought to have significant shelter needs due to the large number of homes that were burnt, damaged or dismantled. It is not known how many of the 74,000 people who fled to Bangladesh since 9 October have returned to northern Rakhine. Humanitarian access for international staff remains severely restricted and permission to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment is an urgent priority. Serious protection incidents continue to be reported in the affected area.
AUSTRALIA – As a result of Tropical Cyclone Debbie that struck the north-east coast on 28 March, thousands of people were evacuated from their homes as two dams in Banana Shire reached maximum capacity. At least 200 schools and education centres were also closed. TC Debbie made landfall as a Category 3 severe tropical cyclone with 185 km/h winds near the centre and gusts of 260 km/h. and bringing with it very heavy rains over south-eastern Queensland and northern New South Wales. As a result the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology issued Major Flood Warnings for rivers throughout Queensland.
EL NIÑO – There is an increased likelihood of a return to El Niño conditions by August 2017. Previously, models predicted 40-50% probability of a return to El Niño conditions in 2017, however, according to one model that probability has now risen to approximately 70%. A return to El Niño conditions could cause significant humanitarian concerns, especially as many countries that may be affected are still recovering from the 2015/16 El Niño event. An El Niño event usually brings drier-than-normal conditions in South East Asia and the Pacific, as well as an increased risk of severe storms in the Pacific.4 70% probability of a return to El Niño conditions.