ReliefWeb - Disasters

ReliefWeb - Disasters

Descriptive text is not available for this image

ReliefWeb - Disasters

West Africa: Locust Infestation - May 2020

Thu, 21 May 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal
Glide: IN-2020-000139-NGA

FAO is seeking $50 million–$75 million for the control, surveillance of desert locust swarms and livelihoods support by December 2020 to help 17.2 million people in severe acute food insecurity (Phase 3+) during the next lean season (June–August 2020) in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, the Niger, Nigeria and Senegal (Cadre Harmonisé, March 2020). This will entail 300 000–500 000 ha of land targeted for control operations; 10 million ha of land targeted for surveillance and 110 000–150 000 households targeted for livelihood support, of whom 75 000–100 000 are farming households and 35 000–50 000 pastoral households. (FAO, 21 May 2020)

Full Story

Tropical Cyclone Amphan - May 2020

Sat, 16 May 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected countries: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand
Glide: TC-2020-000136-MMR

A deep depression over southeast Bay of Bengal has intensified into a cyclonic storm "Amphan" on Saturday, 16 May. The cyclone is currently located in the central Bay of Bengal and will track north, north-eastward towards India and Bangladesh. The system is very likely to intensify further into a major tropical cyclone in the next 24 hours. According to the latest forecasts, the cyclone will make a landfall on 20 May somewhere in NE India, West Bengal – Bangladesh coast. It is expected that it will bring strong winds, very rough sea conditions, storm surge and heavy rain across Odisha and west Bengal coasts. The Indian Meteorological Department has issued an orange alert for this region. A red alert has been issued for Gangetic West Bengal, which urges residents to take action to protect themselves from extremely heavy rainfall and severe winds. Bangladesh Meteorological Department has issued a Special Weather Bulletin and a warning alert as well. The Government of Odisha has identified 567 cyclone shelters, as well as 7,000 community buildings to relocate around 1.1 million people across 649 villages along the seacoast. The community based COVID-19 quarantine centres in coastal areas are being shifted to safe locations. The State and the National Disaster Management forces are in readiness. The Communities Working Group in Cox’s Bazar works on community level awareness in all 34 camps. (ECHO,17 May 2020)

Thailand: A warning is in effect for high waves, flash floods and landslides in 14 southern provinces from 18-20 May as a result of Tropical Cyclone Amphan. Tropical storms have already damaged 1,305 homes in 11 upper provinces in northern, northeastern, central and eastern regions of the country. (ECHO,19 May 2020)

As of 19 May, tropical Cyclone AMPHAN has intensified into a super cyclonic storm as it continues north over the central Bay of Bengal, toward India's Odisha and West Bengal States and Bangladesh's Barisal Division. AMPHAN is expected to continue towards the Odisha coast, slightly weakening before making landfall over southern West Bengal on the morning of 20 May with maximum sustained winds of 190-210 km/h. The Needs Assessment Working Group (NAWG) in Bangladesh estimates that up to 14.2 million people in coastal districts are likely to be affected, with nearly 1.4 million displaced and up to 600,000 houses damaged. Evacuation from high-risk areas is to begin today and is already underway in high-risk areas in India. (ECHO, 19 May 2020)

Tropical Cyclone AMPHAN continues towards India's Odisha and West Benagal States and southern Bangladesh's Barisal Division. On 20 May at 0.00 UTC its centre was 195 km south-east of Bhubaneshwar City (Odisha), and 370 km south-southwest of Kolkata (West Bengal), with maximum sustained winds of 175 km/h. According to media reports, national authorities in India are evacuating 1.1 to 1.2 million people from Odisha and from West Bengal, 2 million in Bangladesh. AMPHAN should make landfall over southern West Bangal (approximately 50 km south of Haldia and 100 km south of Kolkata) on 20 May, with maximum sustained winds up to 160 km/h before weakening as it moves over eastern West Bengal and western and central Bangladesh on 20-21 May.A red alert for heavy rain and thunderstorms is in effect over West Bengal (India) and a storm surge and wind warnings over coastal districts of Bangladesh over the next 24 hours. (ECHO, 20 May 2020)

As of 21 of May, cyclone Amphan has made a landfall and it is crossing the West Bengal- Bangladesh Coast east of Sagar Island. According to the latest special weather bulletin of the Met Department of Bangladesh issued around 7.30 p.m. ,the cyclone currently lies over the coastal West Bengal and Sundarban on the Bangladeshi coast after making a landfall around 4 p.m. in West Bengal. It is likely to move in a north-northeasterly direction further and complete crossing the coast within the next 3-4 hours. Maximum wind speed within 74 kilometres of the Cyclone centre is about 160 kilometre per hour (kmph) rising to 180 kmph in gusts/ squalls. (Govt. of India, 21 May 2020)

TC AMPHAN made landfall between Digha (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) on Wednesday 20 May as category 3 storm (Saffir-Simpson scale) bringing strong winds up to 185 km/h and heavy rain, damaging houses, crops and cutting power supplies to cities and towns already struggling to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. At least 14 people have been reported killed in India and 7 in Bangladesh. More than three million people have been evacuated to emergency shelters. After landfall TC AMPHAN was downgraded to a tropical depression, but is expected to bring heavy to moderate rain over the next 24 hours in the northeast Indian states, West Bengal and Sikkim, as well as in most of Bangladesh, including in the Rohingya refugees camps. According to UNICEF's reporting, the storm has put many people at risk, not only as a direct effect of floods and wind damage, but also given the potential spread of COVID-19 in crowded evacuation shelters. (ECHO, 21 May 2020)

At least 77 deaths in India and 25 in Bangladesh have been reported so far. Over three million people in both countries continue to remain in community shelters. Significant damage has been reported in thatched houses, standing crops, horticulture, fisheries, power and telecommunication facilities in cyclone-affected areas. Most areas remained without electricity and communication network and blocked roads limiting a rapid response. In Cox's Bazar, flooding and small landslides have caused damage to 300 shelters, blocked drains and damaged stairs, latrines and bridges. (ECHO, 22 May 2020)

In India, Odisha and West Bengal states were affected, with nearly 60 million people affected and at least 80 people killed in West Bengal alone. More than 700,000 people were evacuated across India and at least 80,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed. In Bangladesh, 10 million people were affected by Cyclone Amphan and at least 25 people were killed. An estimated 2.4 million people were evacuated ahead of the storm. According to preliminary reports, 330,000 houses were damaged, including 55,600 destroyed in the nine most affected districts. The cyclone led to the internal displacement of at least 100,000 people who are currently staying on embankments and with friends or relatives. Satkhira, Khulna, Barguna, and Patuakhali districts were most severely affected, with up to 1.2 million people highly affected in those four districts alone. (OCHA, 26 May 2020)

Full Story

Tajikistan: Floods and Mudslides - May 2020

Thu, 14 May 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected country: Tajikistan
Glide: FF-2020-000138-TJK

Continuous heavy rains resulted in mudflows between 14 and 16 May in Khatlon Province, Asadullo, 18th Hizb (former Partsyezd) and Pakhtaobod villages of Khuroson district, Ergash village in Kushoniyon district, Galaba Street of Vahdat town and Surkhdara village in Fayzobod district. In total, seven mid-scale mudflows and floods have occurred throughout Tajikistan. There were 338 households (1,690 people) heavily affected in Khatlon province (Khuroson district) and in Regions of Republican Subordination (RRS) Vahdat town and Fayzobod district another 11 households. At least one person was killed and another one person is missing as a result of natural disasters. Around 305 households were evacuated to neighbouring villages into safe places. The Government commenced relief operations in some affected districts and calls for assistance from in-country humanitarian partners (IFRC, 26 May 2020)

Full Story

Typhoon Vongfong - May 2020

Mon, 11 May 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected country: Philippines
Glide: TC-2020-000134-PHL

As of 11 May, a tropical depression named Vongfong (locally named Ambo) was located about 400km east of Mindanao and was moving in a northwest direction. The Philippines weather bureau forecasted Ambo to intensify into a severe tropical storm in the next 48 hours and expected it to make landfall over the Bicol Region on the evening of 14-15 May. (OCHA, 12 May 2020)

Following initial landfall as a Category 3 typhoon in San Policarpo, Eastern Samar, just after noon on 14 May, Typhoon Vongfong (locally named Ambo) continues to bring destructive winds and heavy to intense rainfall as it moves northwest towards mainland Luzon. On 15 May, the eye of the typhoon carried maximum sustained winds of 125 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 165 km/h making further landfalls in Northern Samar, Masbate and Quezon provinces.

The combination of high winds, sustained heavy rainfall and storm surges has impacted vulnerable communities in the Eastern Visayas, Bicol and Southern Luzon which were also heavily affected by Typhoon Kammuri (local name Tisoy) in December 2019. Regional authorities in Bicol report that over 300,000 people sought refuge in some 2,300 evacuation centers across the provinces of Sorsogon, Albay, Catanduanes, Masbate and Camarines Sur. About 15,900 people have preemptively evacuated in the provinces of Northern Samar, Samar and Eastern Samar. (OCHA, 15 May 2020).

As of 16 May, Ambo had slightly weakened but then maintained its strength as it continued to move north-northwestward over the West Philippine Sea as reported at 13:00 hrs. Ambo is likely to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Monday (18 May) afternoon. (AHA Centre, 16 May 2020)

As of 18 May, at least 218,400 people were affected by Typhoon Vongfong in 173 cities/municipalities in 36 provinces of Regions Il, Ill, Vill, and CAR, and a total of 54 persons were injured in Regions III and VIII. The evacuation centers reported are now closed and there are no more displaced/evacuated people (Govt. of the Philippines, 18 May 2020).

According to initial reports, over 1,100 houses were destroyed and 6,300 were partially damaged in Eastern Samar Province, including nine health facilities and the only COVID-19 accredited testing laboratory for Bicol Region. It is estimated that more than 40,000 farmers have been affected by damages to farm land and production losses. Eastern Samar declared a State of Calamity and has requested the national government to activate quick response funds as local calamity funds were already depleted for the COVID-19 response. OCHA and partners of the inter-cluster coordination group are currently undertaking a remote assessment of the impact of the typhoon through local partners (OCHA, 19 May 2020).

As of 23 May, at least 578,571 people were affected by Typhoon Vongfong in 491 barangays in Regions I, II, III, VIII and CAR. And there were more than 3,600 people who took temporary shelter in 72 evacuation centers in Regions I, II, III and CAR. All evacuation centers are currently closed (Govt. of the Philippines, 23 May 2020).

Full Story

Uganda: Floods and Landslides - May 2020

Mon, 04 May 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected country: Uganda
Glide: FL-2020-000132-UGA

At least 500 families are displaced in Busia District (eastern Uganda) and in urgent need of shelter and food. In south-western Uganda, people living in Kasese district close to the rivers of Nyamwamba, Mubuku, and Nyamugasan are affected by floodwaters and forced to evacuate. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko Districts are also affected. Several houses, roads and bridges have been flooded and power outages have been reported. About 800 people are displaced. The Government deployed the Police and the Army to carry out rescue tasks. Provision of immediate food and NFI assistance remains a challenge due to the access constraints. The Ugandan Red Cross Society is currently conducting a needs assessment in the three affected Districts. For the next 24 hours, heavy rain is forecasted over western and south-eastern regions. (ECHO, 8 May 2020)

On 9 May, several landslides occurred in Kween District (central-east Uganda), after Sundet and Kere Rivers burst their banks, as a result of heavy rain.According to media, 3 people died and many others are injured. Several houses are destroyed, and over 200 families are in need of relief aid. The Uganda Red Cross Society and local authorities are carrying out damage and loss assessment of the landslides, wind destruction and the general floods that occurred in the Girigiri lower plains. In Kasese District (South-western Uganda), flash floods continue to affect the local population. Rivers Nyamwamba, Mubuku, Nyamughasana and Lhubiriha burst their banks again, flooding the communities and displacing over 100,000 people. In Kabale District (South-western Uganda), rain caused havoc, collapsing the main highway to Rwanda causing diversion of all traffic via Nyamitanga hills. The Office of the Prime Minister is providing in-kind food and NFI assistance; however further assistance is required. Moderate to heavy rain is forecast over most of South and East Uganda on 11-12 May. (ECHO, 11 May 2020)

At least eight people were feared dead yesterday after floods and mudslides hit parts of Kasese District on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Traffic between Uganda and DRC was also cut off after the main bridge was submerged by River Thaku, which separates the two countries. River Thaku burst its banks at around 5am, forcing hundreds of residents to run for their lives. (Monitor, 22 May 2020)

Full Story

Tanzania: Floods - Apr 2020

Fri, 24 Apr 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected country: United Republic of Tanzania
Glide: FL-2020-000125-TZA

Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) weather forecast indicated above normal rainfall for the period from March and May 2020 with risks of flooding in some regions. As expected, a total of five regions are now experiencing flooding because of increased rainfall, displacing thousands of people. Indeed, from 22 to 26 April 2020, the country has recorded increased rainfall in the northern part where seven regions (Kilimanjaro, Kagera, Katavi, Mara, Manyara, Kigoma and Rukwa) are reporting flooding and landslides since April 24.( IFRC, 8 May 2020)

Full Story

Ethiopia: Floods - Apr 2020

Fri, 24 Apr 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected country: Ethiopia
Glide: FL-2020-000126-ETH

In the past few weeks, flood incidences were reported from some areas of the country. On 24 April, flash floods killed four persons and damaged 53 houses (fully) and 212 houses (partially) in Dire Dawa; on 25 April, river overflow damaged social infrastructure and affected livestock in Jinka town, SNNP; and on 25/26 April, flash floods affected 34,507 households and displaced 15,195 households in Erer, Sitti, Nogob and Korahe zones, Somali region.Local communities in the Dawa zone that spoke to humanitarian partners, stated that they have never experienced such amount of water in the Dawa River. On May 4, the flood caused a total collapse of the main bridges between Hudet to Negalle and Mubarak to Filtu. In addition to this, the rains made travel to rural areas within the Dawa zone difficult. (OCHA, 6 May 2020)

During the months of April and May 2020, heavy and prolonged belg/gu rains led to flooding and landslide incidents in Somali, Oromia, Afar, SNNP and Dire Dawa. Latest National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) reports indicate that close to 470,163 people are affected and 301,284 people are displaced by floods across the country. (OCHA, 22 May 2020)

Full Story

Somalia: Flash Floods - Apr 2020

Thu, 23 Apr 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected country: Somalia
Glide: FF-2020-000055-SOM

The 2020 Gu’ rains (April-June) have intensified across Somalia, triggering flash flooding in South West State, Jubaland, Bandir, Puntland and Somaliland from 20-23 April. As water levels rise in rivers, there are reports of riverine flooding in Jubaland. FAO’s Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) reported heavy rains in Somaliland where on 26 April, Lughaye and surrounding areas received unusually heavy rains of 102mm. On 23 April, heavy rains were also received within the Juba river basin. SWALIM forecasts increased rainfall activity in most areas in Somalia and in the Ethiopian highlands in the coming week, which is likely to keep the water levels high in the Shabelle and Juba rivers. The flooding has started barely four months after heavy Deyr (October-December) rains inundated parts of Somalia, affecting over half a million people; and as the country works to contain the COVID-19 virus, which is exponentially rising and has already infected several hundreds of people. The country is also working to contain a desert locust infestation. OCHA, 24 Apr 2020)

Since 20 April, heavy rain has been affecting most of Somalia States and territories (particularly South West, Jubaland, Banadir, Puntland, and Somaliland) as well as the neighbouring central and south Ethiopia since 24 April, causing rivers to overflow and triggering floods that have resulted in casualties and damage. The worst affected area is the Juba river basin and the Shabelle river basin. In Somalia, as of 29 April, media report 10 fatalities, a number of missing people, around 20 injured people, hundreds more displaced, as well as damage to infrastructure in Qardho Town (Bari Region, west Puntland). (ECHO, 29 Apr 2020)

The number of people affected by flooding in Somalia has risen to 546,103, of whom 216,895 people have been displaced from their homes and 16 others killed since the Gu’ rains started in early April. At least 27 districts are inundated; the worst being Belet Weyne in Hiran region where riverine flooding has displaced more than 115,000 people, according to the district flood taskforce. This includes about 91,000 people who have been displaced from the four sections of the town and 23,220 people from 23 riverine villages. The flooding resulted from a sharp rise in the level of the Shabelle river following heavy rains in Somalia and the Ethiopian highlands. According to the taskforce, more people were fleeing their homes as river levels rise. As of 10 May, the river levels reached 7.93 meters which is 0.37 meter below the bank full level of 8.30 meters. (OCHA, 11 May 2020)

Ongoing flash and riverine flooding in Somalia has affected about 918,000 people, of whom 412,000 have been displaced and 24 killed, in 29 districts, as of 16 May. The risk of disease outbreaks is high due to crowding in areas where displaced people are seeking temporary shelter. (OCHA, 16 May 2020)

Flood waters started receding in some areas of Somalia, as the seasonal Gu’ (April-June) rains decline. In Belet Weyne district, Hiraan region, where 240,000 people including 11,400 IDPs were displaced, flood waters started receding on 19 May. The district was the worst affected after the Shabelle river burst its banks. Twenty-five riverine villages which were submerged since 10 May are drying up and farmers are preparing to take advantage of the moist soil and start planting. In the downstream areas of Middle Shabelle such as Jowhar district, where riverine flooding affected more than 98,000 people in 37 locations, gradual recession of flood water is reported. Along the Juba river, the water level is at bank full in some parts of Gedo region such as Baardheere, Doolow and Luuq. Downstream areas of Saakow, Buaale, Jilib and Jamame districts are flooded. However, a gradual drop in water levels was reported. (OCHA, 24 May 2020)

Full Story

Kenya: Floods and Landslides - Apr 2020

Fri, 17 Apr 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected country: Kenya
Glide: FL-2020-000128-KEN

Heavy rains have intensified in Kenya over the past three weeks, causing death, displacement, flooding and landslides. At least 40,000 people were rendered homeless after the Nzoia river burst its banks on the weekend of 2 May. Since the beginning of the country’s ‘long rains’ season in early March, more than 233,000 people have been affected, including over 116,000 displaced, according to the Kenya Red Cross Society. Flooding has been reported in more than three quarters of Kenya’s counties (36 out of 47), with landslides reported in the Rift Valley and the central and coastal regions, according to the Government’s National Disaster Operations Centre. The Kenya Meteorological Department forecasts aboveaverage rainfall throughout May in parts of the Rift Valley, and in the central, western and coastal regions of Kenya, which could result in further flooding. The heavy rains have increased the risk of health emergencies and provided conditions conducive to the further breeding of desert locusts in Kenya. (OCHA, 7 May 2020)

Full Story

DR Congo: Floods - Apr 2020

Thu, 16 Apr 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Glide: FL-2020-000052-COD

Flooding caused by heavy rain affected the east provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in particular South Kivu, on 16-17 April 2020. At least 36 people died, and 42 others were injured. According to the UN, more than 77,000 people have been displaced, and are in need for shelter. Initial estimations report approximately 3,500 destroyed houses, 15,000 damaged houses, 7 damaged or collapsed bridges. Several areas in the cities of Bukavu and Uvira have been flooded, after the overflow of Mulongwe river. Various humanitarian partner organisations are assisting with search and rescue operations. Heavy rain is forecast over east and south DRC for the coming days (20-22 April). (ECHO, 20 Apr 2020)

Initial reports suggest more than 25 people have died because of the floods and more than 40 injured with fears of many others swept away by the flood waters. A health clinic in one of Uvira’s poorer neighbourhoods was destroyed and water and sanitation facilities in the overcrowded town were also damaged. UNHCR is rushing initial supplies of relief items from its local warehouse in Uvira, including badly needed tarpaulins to provide immediate shelter, as well as mats, kitchen sets, buckets and mosquito nets. (UNHCR, 21 Apr 2020)

Floods continue to affect the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since the end of April, causing significant material damage ... In South Kivu, nearly 37,000 people are displaced, at least 7,220 houses have been destroyed, and more than 86,000 people have been affected, particularly in Ulvira City. In Maniema, recent floods have destroyed hundreds of houses, leaving more than 750 people displaced, bringing to least 27,500 the total number of people affected. The current flooding events increase the risk of outbreaks of water-borne diseases, such as cholera. Moderate to locally heavy rain is forecast over most of DRC on 14-15 May. (ECHO, 14 May 2020)

Full Story

Burundi: Floods and Landslides - Apr 2020

Mon, 13 Apr 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected country: Burundi
Glide: FL-2020-000054-BDI

Torrential rains, violent winds, landslides, and floods that occurred between 13 and 19 April have caused devastation in Cibitoke, Bubanza, and Bujumbura Rural provinces. On 19 April, according to local authorities, 27,972 people were displaced due to the Ruzizi river overflowing into six districts of Gatumba in Mutimbuzi Commune (Bujumbura Rural province). 6,010 houses were flooded, severely damaged or destroyed. Strong winds, torrential rains, and landslides have affected a total of 813 people in Rumonge province (715) and Bubanza province (98), the majority of whom are now displaced. The damage toll is still rising as flooded houses continue to collapse. (OCHA, 22 Apr 2020)

In affected provinces, up to 160 homes were destroyed and 70 partially damaged, alongside 7,600 inundated in Mutimbuzi commune. Heavy and above-average rainfall is anticipated to continue until mid-May, potentially increasing displacement and testing coping capacity. Capacity to provide aid may be restricted throughout the upcoming rains, particularly as elections in May may divert government attention and resources. If flood water is untreated and people cannot access safe water, cholera and malaria may further spread. (ACAPS, 1 May 2020)

Over 2,100 victims of severe flooding and mudslides in Burundi are receiving help from IOM, the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Weeks of torrential rain have hit Burundi affecting 45,000 people and sweeping away thousands of homes and businesses, leaving 18,000 people newly displaced. Three large displacement sites for victims have emerged around Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, where thousands are living in temporary or makeshift accommodations. There are concerns the new displacement sites could increase their risk of contracting COVID-19, due to their overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. IOM under the coordination of OCHA, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and other UN agencies here are moving to reduce risk of potential exposure to COVID-19 during distributions of shelter, hygiene kits, and other types of emergency support. (IOM, 29 May 2020)

Full Story

Tropical Cyclone Harold - Apr 2020

Sun, 05 Apr 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected countries: Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu
Glide: TC-2020-000049-VUT

Mid-day of 3 April 2020, TC Harold had moved into the Vanuatu's area of responsibility and is tracked through the Vanuatu Tropical Cyclone Tracking Map. At 22:00 UTC on 4 April, TC Harold was a category 4 tropical cyclone located approximately 95km off the west coast of Santo, Vanuatu. It is currently moving in a south south easterly direction at a rate of 14km/h, with maximum sustained winds close to the centre estimated at 175km/h. Predictions indicate that TC Harold will increase to a category 5 tropical cyclone within the next 12 hours, then weaken to a category 4 tropical cyclone once it has passed over Vanuatu late on Monday evening. Severe weather warning for heavy rainfalls and flash flooding, including possible landslides are expected... The system will slowly move East/Southeast across central islands by Monday or Tuesday next week and expected near west of Fiji by Wednesday 8 April. (IFRC, 5 Apr 2020)

Tropical Cyclone HAROLD continued moving south-east over the Coral Sea and made landfall over southwest coast of Espiritu Santo Island (north Vanuatu) on 6 April around 0.00 UTC, with maximum sustained winds up to 215 km/h. Media reported, as of 06 April, 7 fatalities and 21 people were still missing across Salomon Islands. In addition, media reported, hundreds of people preventively evacuated across Espiritu Santo. (ECHO, 6 Apr 2020)

The northern provinces of Sanma, Malampa and Penama are most affected. Due to its path across the centre of Vanuatu, TC Harold has directly impacted on a large number of populated islands and the large island of Santo with the country’s second largest city Luganville. According to the latest satellite analysis based on the cyclone track and wind speed zones and the population data, at least 112,000 people would be potentially exposed to the strong winds greater than 120km/h. Mobile phone networks on the islands were still down as of 7 April. Two Aerial Surveillance Assessment team were deployed on 7 April to assess the northern provinces and a Rapid Technical Assessment Team is scheduled to be deployed on the ground as soon as conditions allow. (OCHA, 6 Apr 2020)

In the night of 7-8 April TC Harold headed to Fiji where it hit Viti Levu and the islands to the east as a Category 4 cyclone. The cyclone has caused significant power outages, blocked roads due to fallen trees, and widespread flooding. A total of 69 evacuation centers in four divisions have been set up to accommodated 1,778 evacuees. As of 08 of April the Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office estimates that up to 160,000 people may have been affected by the cyclone int he country. The provinces of Sanma (53,344 people), Penama (32,055 people), and Malampa (40,917 people) have been categorized as Priority 1 for assistance. The provinces of Torba (10,102 people) and Shepherds Group (23,056 people) have been categorized as Priority 2. (OCHA, 8 Apr 2020)

On 9 April, Vanuatu Government issued a request for in-kind assistance to the European Union. In response, as part of the European Union's Civil Protection Mechanism, France is sending tents, shelter kits, kitchen sets and jerry cans. The EU's Copernicus emergency mapping service was activated (EMSR 434) on 6 April, in order to support damage assessment and impact assessment in Vanuatu. In Tonga, significant damage to the water supply and food crops was reported across Tongatapu. Central and Western Tongatapu are expected to be hardest hit due to the king tides and significant flooding. Destruction is widespread, including significant damage to homes, water supply and food crops is reported in 'Eua. Hundreds are reported to be currently sheltering in evacuation centres due to homes being destroyed. In Fiji, telecommunication and electricity networks have been largely restored. Disaster assessments are under way by the national disaster management office (ECHO, 10 Apr 2020).

The humanitarian response to Cyclone Harold continues and assessments are ongoing in the most affected areas of Vanuatu, Fiji, and Tonga. Initial findings from an assessment in Sanma Province in Vanuatu indicate that an estimated 80 – 90% of the population lost their houses, while some 60% of schools and 20% of health centres may be damaged. Food crops are seriously damaged. In Fiji, the Government made a Declaration of Natural Disaster for TC Harold on 12 April. As of 13 April, more than 1,800 evacuees are being sheltered in 65 evacuation centres in Fiji, while in Tonga, 17 evacuation centres are sheltering 323 people and an estimated 428 houses have been damaged. UN agencies and NGO partners are supporting the National Disaster Management Authorities and are releasing prepositioned relief items for the response with additional in-kind and logistical support from the FRANZ alliance. On 13 April, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund released USD$ 2.5 million for the response in Vanuatu (OCHA, 14 Apr 2020).

In Vanuatu, an estimated 160,000 people have been affected by Tropical Cyclone Harold which hit the island state on 6 April. The provinces of Sanma, Malampa and Penama were hardest hit. Assessments are ongoing by Government and humanitarian partners, including the UN, and the Pacific Humanitarian Team is supporting government-led efforts to respond to needs. Logistics in the response have been hampered by difficult local conditions following the cyclone as well as by COVID-19 restrictions that have been put in place for incoming cargo and people.

In Fiji, the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) – with the help of the Fiji Red Cross, UNICEF and other humanitarian partners on the ground, continues to deliver relief items to some 20,000 people who were most affected by TC Harold in the Eastern Division of the country. Evacuation centres in the north and west have closed, but over 1,300 people remain in 105 centers in the Central (13) and Eastern (92) Divisions. As of 21 April, 1,310 people are sheltering in 105 evacuation centres in the Eastern and Central divisions. The eastern division has the highest number of people in evacuation centres with 1,116 evacuees in 92 evacuation centres. All evacuation centres in Northern and Western Divisions are now closed. (OCHA, 21 Apr 2020).

In Tonga, most people have returned to their homes from evacuation centers and small-scale relief distributions are ongoing through the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) and the Tongan Red Cross. (OCHA, 20 Apr 2020).

In Vanuatu, the NDMO – together with various ministries and humanitarian partners on the ground - continues to conduct assessments in the three worst-affected provinces of Sanma, Penama and Malampa. Affected populations (up to 160,000 people) particularly need shelter, access to safe water, and food assistance. The health situation, compounded by COVID-19, is also of concern as a number of health structures have been damaged. A total of 15 Emergency Medical Teams (EMTs) have been deployed across the three most affected provinces to provide basic health care and – together with the Food and Nutrition Cluster – to assess the nutrition situation and distribute nutrition supplements. (OCHA, 27 Apr 2020).

There has been an increase in response activity with more shelter relief items now being distributed. Concerns remain that this is still very slow and of the estimated 17,347 households in destroyed & severely damaged categories only around 1,954 households have received emergency shelter assistance. This means that only around 11% of houses in the higher damage categories have received emergency shelter assistance. There is currently enough stock in-country to cover 36% of emergency shelter needs (Govt. of Vanuatu, IFRC, Shelter Cluster, 30 Apr 2020).

The Vanuatu Shelter Cluster now estimates that there is enough available to address humanitarian shelter needs of approximately 82 per cent of households whose homes have been severely damaged or destroyed. However, only 13% of households in need have received shelter assistance so far. As of 6 May, there are 610 people in 79 evacuation centers in Fiji. According to the Agriculture final assessment report at least 53,000 farmers have been affected by TC Harold, with the cost of damage to crops and livestock estimated to be FJD29 million. In Toga, UNICEF has supported MIA to provide psychosocial support (PSS) and counseling for 300 children and 840 community members in Siesia island and Patangata village, Tongatapu; PSS/counseling for 1200 children delivered through most affected schools in Hihifo and Kolofo’ou districts, Tongatapu; PSS support to 45 families in Eua island. In Solomon Islands initial assessment show 25 schools in three provinces - Guadalcanal, Makira Ulawa, Central Islands – have been damaged or destroyed. Damage has been reported to classrooms, specialized classrooms, WASH infrastructures and staff houses, as well as learning/teaching resources. (OCHA, 7 May 2020)

In Vanuatu, at least 60 percent of croplands have been severely damaged by the cyclone according to early estimates by FAO. Based on the Rapid Technical Assessment report of the Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), food crops as well as export crops have been uprooted and snapped at the trunk by the strong winds. At household level, severe losses of stored crops and seeds as well as small livestock were reported. International food aid and agricultural assistance, in the form of vegetable seeds, planting material and farming equipment, are urgently needed to facilitate crop replanting and to prevent the deterioration of the food security situation. FAO is working with the Vanuatu Food Security and Agriculture Cluster and the NDMO to restore agricultural production and rebuild people's livelihoods (FAO, 8 May 2020).

Humanitarian programmes continue to respond to the needs of people affected by Cyclone Harold. In Fiji, damage to crops and livestock is reported to be approximately FJD29 million and as of 10th May, a total of 610 people remain in 79 evacuation centres in the Central (8) and Eastern (71) Divisions respectively. Humanitarian response is continuing with emphasis on WASH, Food Security, Shelter and Health. In Vanuatu, the National Disaster Management Office has organized 12 shipments of food and non-food items (tents, tarpaulins, medical supplies, fuel) to affected areas since 10 April and a Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) of USD2.58 million was approved for live-saving activities to assist 109,000 people in need (OCHA, 12 May 2020).

In Fiji, a total of 610 people are still hosted in 79 evacuation centers in the Central (8) and Eastern (71) Divisions respectively after being displaced by Tropical Cyclone Harold over one month ago. The humanitarian response is ongoing, and is focusing on water and sanitation, food security, shelter, and health response activities. An allocation from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has been approved with US$1M to provide assistance to 200,000 people in need (OCHA, 19 May 2020).

Full Story

Afghanistan: Floods - Mar 2020

Sat, 28 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected country: Afghanistan
Glide: FL-2020-000050-AFG

Heavy rain has been affecting north and west Afghanistan (particularly Takhar, Parwan, and Herat Provinces) since 21 March, triggering flash floods that have resulted in casualties and damage. Media report, as of 2 April, at least 11 fatalities, 15 injured people, around 288 houses destroyed and 400 more damaged (including 30 mosques), and several power outages across the aforementioned Provinces. (ECHO, 2 Apr 2020)

Since 28 March, flash floods following heavy rain affected 18 provinces in north-central and west regions of Afghanistan. Preliminary information suggests that floods have killed 11 people, while 15 people are injured. Most affected provinces are Farah, Badghis, Faryab, Baghlan, Takhar and Parwan. Needs assessments are coordinated by the local authorities and humanitarian agencies. The flash floods displaced families. At least 288 houses were completely destroyed, and 400 houses were partially damaged. Furthermore 500 hectares of agricultural crops were washed away. (ECHO, 3 Apr 2020)

OCHA’s natural disaster tracking dashboard shows that more than 15,300 people have been affected by floods (13,900), landslides (616) and avalanches (819) since the start of the year. During flood-related displacement, host communities tend to extend their limited resources to families in need. Most displaced families are normally hosted by relatives or in neighbouring communities while they wait for the rain to subside prior to starting repair of their shelters. This coping mechanism creates favourable conditions for higher transmission of COVID-19 and in some cases may give rise to protection concerns for displaced people and their hosts. This is particularly concerning for the country’s west and south bordering Iran and Pakistan where flooding is already taking place. IOM and other ES-NFI partners have so far conducted 127 joint assessments in areas affected by floods. Assessment findings showed that more than 1,400 homes have been either damaged or destroyed. ES-NFI partners have further mobilised rapid shelter support and distribution of householditems to 9,366 people affected by floods. (OCHA, 6 Apr 2020)

With the onset of the rainy season, severe flooding was reported across many provinces in Afghanistan over the past week. Provincial authorities and humanitarian partners coordinated joint needs assessments to reach affected areas and respond to humanitarian needs. To date, 480 families (approximately 3,360 people) were provided with emergency shelter and household items. (OCHA, 6 Apr 2020)

Torrential rain affected several parts of the country over the last month, causing flash floods, triggering landslides and leading to casualties. The most affected Provinces were Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Farah, Faryab, Parwan, Takhar and Ghor. According to media reports, at least 56 people have died, 31 have been injured. Approximately 600 houses have been destroyed and over 3,000 partially damaged. (ECHO, 21 Apr 2020)

Heavy rains in Kunar Province resulted in casualties and house damages. On 17 April, six members of the same family reportedly died in Khas Kunar district when the roof of a house collapsed due to heavy rains in eastern Kunar Province. Provincial authorities assisted affected families with food and non-food items. Also, flash flooding was reported in Dangam, Bar Kunar, Shigal districts. Initial reports showed that around 300 people were impacted. (OCHA, 22 Apr 2020)

Since the beginning of the year, 17,000 people have been affected by flash floods and heavy rainfalls across Afghanistan, and almost 1,800 houses were damaged or destroyed, in addition to agricultural lands. Recently, over 800 families (approximately 4,200 people) were affected by flash floods in Badghis province and their needs are currently being assessed. (OCHA, 27 Apr 2020)

As of 5 of May, flash floods triggered by heavy rain have affected Baghlan province (northern Afghanistan), resulting in fatalities and damage to buildings. According to media reports, the worst hit area is Tala Wa Barfak District (south-western Baghlan), where 4 people died and houses, farmlands and infrastructure were damaged. Search and rescue operations are ongoing. (ECHO, 5 May 2020)

As of 17 of May, Interagency assessment teams verified 1,407 people affected by landslides in Faryab province and 1,379 people displaced by conflict in Balkh, Faryab, Sar-e-Pul and Jawzjan provinces. In addition, 4,760 people affected by flash floods received humanitarian assistance in Faryab and Samangan provinces. (OCHA, 17 May 2020)

As of 28 May, flash floods affected at least 329 people in Badakhshan and Baghlan provinces, and destroyed 200 houses, agriculture lands and affected nearly 1,400 people in Sar-e-Pul province. (OCHA, 24 May 2020)

Full Story

Yemen: Flash Floods - Mar 2020

Tue, 24 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected country: Yemen
Glide: FF-2020-000123-YEM

Heavy rains hit southern parts of Yemen on 24 and 25 March, affecting Lahj, Aden, Abyan, Taizz, Al Dale’e, Al Mahrah and Hadramaut governorates badly. In Aden, torrential rains flooded houses and roads in Crater and Al Mualla districts. In Hadramaut, houses, road bridges, water networks, and crops were destroyed and livestock drowned in Al Sawm, Hajr, Mayfa and Brom districts. Sites for internally displaced people (IDPs) were worst affected where rains destroyed shelters and property and led to stagnant water. Initial findings suggest that at least 4,625 families have been affected in 60 IDP sites. (OCHA, 31 Mar 2020)

An estimated 21,240 families (148,680 people) have been affected by flooding in 13 governorates since mid-April. Conditions are hardest for thousands of families already displaced who have lost shelter, food rations and household supplies. In Marib Governorate, torrential rains affected 6,286 families including 7 fatalities while 250 people were injured. The rains also caused houses to collapse, and damaged infrastructure making some roads impassable in Raymah Governorate and Marib City and surrounding areas. In Sana’a and northern governorates, at least 9,146 families were affected, with Sana’a City and most parts of Sana’a governorate particularly badly hit by flooding. Over 5,130 families have been affected in Hajjah Governorate alone, and partners have reported severe damage to shelters at sites for internally displaced persons (IDPs) as a result urgent needs for WASH interventions and food assistance are required. An estimated 4,764 households have been affected in IDP sites in southern governorates, including 1,812 families in Aden, 1,037 in Abyan, 917 in Taizz and 770 in Lahj governorates. In Aden City, the worst affected areas are Crater and Mualla. (OCHA, 24 Apr 2020)

Full Story

Egypt: Floods - Mar 2020

Wed, 11 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected country: Egypt
Glide: FL-2020-000038-EGY

On 11 March 2020, the Egyptian Red Crescent issued an emergency alert and activated its Central Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as well as the Emergency Operations Rooms at the Branches. The continued severe weather, including heavy rain, strong winds and thunderstorms caused widespread flooding across Egypt, killing at least 40 people. According to Ministry of Social Solidarity (MoSS), 10 people died and more than 400 injured in Cairo, 3 people died and 5 were injured in Qena Governorate (central Egypt). The remaining fatalities occurred in Giza, Ismailia, Sharkeia, New Valley, Menofia, and South Sinai Governorates, 12 people missing. The train service was suspended nationwide, as heavy rain caused a train collision in northern Giza, injuring 13 people. The official figures reported by the MoSS on the number of people affected by the floods in the country estimates 20,000 people (4,000 families). (IFRC, 26 Mar 2020)

Full Story

Iran: Locust Infestation - Mar 2020

Tue, 10 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected country: Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Glide: IN-2020-000041-IRN

In late February, there were 22 reports of moderate to high-density immature swarms in coastal areas in Khuzestan, Bushehr, southern Fars and western Hormozgan provinces. Limited local breeding has occurred on the south-east coast in Hormozgan province. Last year, desert locusts resulted in major losses on over 500,000 hectares of farmlands and gardens. The number of locust swarms this year is predicted to reach seven-fold that of last year. As a result, controlling activities will continue until June at a large scale targeting up to a million hectares of agricultural lands in 10 southern and south-western provinces of the country. (OCHA, 10 Mar 2020)

Desert Locust invaded Iran in late February 2020 and quickly spread to four southern provinces of western Hormozgan, Boushehr, Khouzestan, and southern Fars, where the adults rapidly matured and laid eggs in areas that had received good rains. This breeding will cause a substantial increase in locust numbers once eggs hatch in March, hoppers form bands in April and a new generation of swarms form by the end of May. The southern provinces (along the Persian Gulf) have a very suitable condition for spring breeding and if not effectively managed, two generations could occur, giving rise to a 400-fold increase in locust numbers before the summer. (FAO, 24 Mar 2020)

Six provinces in southern Iran have been infected by swarms of desert locust in an area of around 45,000 hectares of land. Hatchings in southern provinces are expected to increase to the great amount before the summer if not effectively managed. For instance, it is forecasted the number of hatchings in Boushehr province could reach up to 800 billion from 2 billion as of 15 March. (OCHA, 31 Mar 2020)

Desert Locust has affected more than 54,600 hectares of land in six provinces: Hormozgan, Sistan and Baluchistan, Khuzestan, Fars, Bushehr, and [southern parts of] Kerman. According to the recent trend of breeding, hatchings and forming of the desert locust, a wider area of land on the Persian Gulf, Hormozgan coast, and the south-western and south-eastern coasts will be further affected if not effectively managed. The wave of the desert locust has damaged agricultural lands, threatening agricultural-based livelihoods and food security. At least, $ 4 million is required to continue to combat the desert locust with pesticides until this August. (OCHA, 8 Apr 2020)

As of 28 April, the number of provinces that are severely affected by the desert locust has increased from six to seven as a result of the recent detection of desert locust in South Khorasan Province. The Ministry of Agriculture Jihad has continued its spraying operations in the locust-infested provinces. Despite all the measures taken, it is predicted that a new wave of locust would invade the country, primarily affecting the southern provinces of Bushehr, Hormozgan and Sistan and Baluchistan, for the next 10 days. (OCHA, 28 Apr 2020)

Full Story

Zimbabwe: Malaria Outbreak - Mar 2020

Sun, 08 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected country: Zimbabwe
Glide: EP-2020-000127-ZWE

Zimbabwe is undergoing a surge of malaria cases since epidemiological week 10 (week ending on 8 March 2020). In week 15 (week ending on 12 April) a total of 35 311 malaria cases and 25 deaths were reported. Of the reported cases 3 359 cases (9.5%) were from the under five years old. As of 23 April 2020, the cumulative figures for malaria are 170 303 and 152 deaths. The cumulative CFR is 0.1%. (WHO, 28 April 2020)

From 1 January to 26 April 2020, more than 236,365 malaria cases and 226 deaths have been reported. During the week from 20 to 26 April, a total of 33,171 malaria cases and 21 deaths were reported representing a 220 per cent increase in cases compared to similar period in 2019. The number of health facilities reporting malaria outbreaks remain on the rise, with highly affected provinces being Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central. (OCHA, 7 May 2020)

From 1 January to 3 May 2020, 262,968 malaria cases and 246 deaths have been reported. During the week from 27 April to 3 May, a total of 26,103 malaria cases and 20 deaths were reported, with the highest number of cases being recorded in Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland East provinces. (OCHA, 21 May 2020)

Full Story

Sri Lanka: Drought - Mar 2020

Thu, 05 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected country: Sri Lanka
Glide: DR-2020-000122-LKA

On 4 March, the Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka reported that 39,801 people were affected by the drought in four districts (Gov't of Sri Lanka, 4 Mar 2020). By 10 March, that number rose to more than 88,500 drought-affected people - an increase of more than 122 per cent - in six districts (Gov't of Sri Lanka, 10 Mar 2020).

As of 20 March, the Disaster Management Centre reported over 90,000 families affected by water stress across 11 Districts. In early March, a total of 71,349 households across 6 districts are being supplied drinking water due to over two and a half months of dry spell. A major water distribution is ongoing in Kalutara and Beruwala DS Divisions in the Kalutara District. (WFP, 20 Mar 2020).

As of 23 March, over 337,000 people across 8 out of 25 Sri Lankan districts are facing a water crisis due to the dry spell and sea water intrusion into surface water, according to Disaster Management Centre. Kalutara, Kegalle and Ratnapura districts are the most affected. The local authorities are addressing the crisis through tankering, installing water purification plant and water tanks in the affected areas. The seasonal climate outlook for March - May, issued by the Department of Meteorology on 4 March, indicates a continuation of the dry spell in March and April but the south-west monsoon, starting in May, is likely to improve the current situation (ECHO, 23 Mar 2020).

As of 06 April, the Disaster Management Centre reported over 182,000 drought-affected people across 11 Districts. (Gov't of Sri Lanka, 5 Apr 2020)

As of 16 April, the Disaster Management Centre reported over 266,707 drought-affected people across 11 Districts. (Gov't of Sri Lanka, 15 Apr 2020)

As of 2 May, there were over 301,000 people in 14 districts in 8 provinces affected by drought according to the Disaster Management Centre. Distribution of drinking water was going on in six provinces--Sabaragamuwa, Central, Western, North Western, North Central, Eastern provinces (Gov't of Sri Lanka, 2 May 2020).

As of 10 May, there were over 312,000 people in 14 districts in 8 provinces affected by drought according to the Disaster Management Centre. (Gov't of Sri Lanka, 10 May 2020).

Full Story

Bolivia: Floods - Feb 2020

Sun, 09 Feb 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected country: Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
Glide: FL-2019-000034-BOL

Flooding was triggered by heavy rain in La Paz Department (central-western Bolivia) on 9 February. According to media reports, as of 10 February, the overflow of Torrentera river caused one death and destroyed at least 12 houses and several roads. More than 50 families have been affected by the event, with the worst-hit areas Achocalla and Alto Irpavi municipalities. (ECHO, 10 Feb 2020)

Heavy rain has been affecting northern and western Bolivia and Peru, triggering river overflow, floods and mudslides. In Bolivia, media report 8 deaths, 250 families affected and 50 houses destroyed across La Paz, Santa Cruz, Potosi, Beni, Cochabamba, and Tarija Departments. (ECHO, 13 Feb 2020)

On 14 February 2020, the Bolivia Government Information Agency declared a disaster zone for Luribay Municipality, La Paz Department, due to heavy rain and river flooding that has affected 500 families, 30 households, and 1,050 hectares of agricultural land. In addition, media reported this rainy season overall has affected eight of nine regions of the country were 6,423 families suffered injuries. To date, 17 deaths have been registered. (PAHO, 14 Feb 2020)

As of 21 February, one person reportedly died in Potosi City, while the worst hit areas are La Paz, Potosi, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba departments.According to national authorities, the severe weather has caused 19 fatalities and has affected at least 10,727 families. More than 414 houses have been destroyed and approximately 11,000 livestock affected. Several municipalities remain isolated, while a landslide caused the closure of the Cochabamba-Santa Cruz highway. A state of emergency was declared for La Paz Department. The level of several rivers across Bolivia has increased, and red alerts for river water level have been issued for the Maniqui and Secure Rivers (central Bolivia). On 21 February, red alerts for heavy rainfall and thunderstorms remain in force for Beni and La Paz departments. (ECHO, 21 Feb 2020)

The Minister of Defence reported on 26 February that the number of families affected has climbed to 11,669, as torrential rainfalls continue to affect Bolivia. Floods and landslides have also left 3,913 families homeless, while affected municipalities now total 72. The Government is working across all affected areas in the country, including 16 municipalities who have declared a state of emergency. UN agencies and Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) members are supporting Government response. (OCHA, 2 Mar 2020)

Full Story

South Asia: Locust Infestation - Feb 2020

Sat, 01 Feb 2020 00:00:00 +0000

Affected countries: India, Pakistan
Glide: IN-2020-000035-PAK

In Pakistan, ground control operations continue in spring breeding areas of Baluchistan against hopper groups in the interior (Dalbandin) and near the coast in Turbat, Gwadar and Lasbela. Similar operations are in progress against hoppper and adult groups in a few summer areas of Nara and Cholistan deserts. Teams treated 4 625 ha on 1-15 June. Adult groups will move from Baluchistan to the summer breeding areas along the Indo-Pakistan border where more hatching and the formation of hopper groups will occur. (FAO, 20 Jun 2019)

In Pakistan, ground control operations (4 000 ha) are underway against groups of mature adults that are laying in adjacent areas of Tharparkar and Cholistan deserts. Hatching and band formation will occur during the remainder of July. A second generation of breeding could start as soon as mid-August south of Rohri near the Indus Valley in Pakistan where early breeding occurred in May. The scale and extent of the summer breeding will depend on this year's monsoon rains, which are so far about two weeks late in arriving to the breeding areas along both sides of the border. (FAO, 16 Jul 2019)

According to initial estimates by the Chamber of Agriculture, as much as 40 percent of crops in the country have been destroyed. This includes food crops such as wheat and vegetables and commodity crops such as cotton. The extended monsoon season has provided conditions that have allowed the locusts to continue breeding and surviving for longer in the Indo-Pakistan border region. Food insecurity is already high in the country, with over 3 million people in IPC Phases 3 and 4, particularly in Balochistan and Sindh provinces. Damage to crops at this magnitude is not only a threat to food security in the affected communities, but also poses a challenge for livelihoods as many rural farmers use the money from selling crops to pay off debt and survive financially during the off season. (ACAPS, 21 Nov 2019)

In South-West Asia, locust infestations are declining along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border due to control operations, drying conditions and swarm migration towards the west. So far this month, Pakistan has treated more than 20 000 ha. Adult groups and swarms are expected to arrive in southwest Pakistan and southeast Iran during the next few weeks. Some swarms may continue moving west along the southern coast of Iran to areas of recent good rains. If temperatures remain warm, egg-laying could occur now, giving rise to hopper groups and bands in January; otherwise, breeding will commence in about February or March. Both countries are advised to be extremely vigilant in all areas and undertake regular surveys, supplemented by control operations whenever necessary. (FAO, 18 Dec 2019)

On 1 February, the government of Pakistan declared a national emergency over locust swarms, which have been destroying crops in Punjab region. The Ministry of National Food Security and Research and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) endorsed a $500,000 Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) to make FAO’s technical expertise available to national experts in order to strengthen their capacities to combat the Desert Locust infestation and improve locust management. (FAO, 16 Feb 2020)

Mature adult groups and swarmlets were seen copulating in Okara district of Punjab and Dera Ismail Khan and Lucky Marwat districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Spring breeding is in progress in the interior of Baluchistan between Khuzdar and Dalbandin, and on the southwest coast near Turbat where adult groups are laying eggs and early instar hopper groups are already forming. Ground teams treated 4 490 ha (18-29 Feb). New generation immature groups and swarms could start forming in Baluchistan by the end of March. (FAO, 3 Mar 2020)

As of 12 March, twenty one districts of Blochistan, Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provinces have been under the threat of desert locust infestation. The government has devised a national action plan for Desert Locust Control and Surveillance. Under the national action plan, districts committees are formed for coordination. 173 teams have been deployed across Pakistan in affected areas for surveillance and control of locust. FAO is providing technical, material and logistics support to the Ministry of Food Security. (OCHA, 12 Mar 2020)

A severe locust infestation is likely to affect domestic food production and vulnerable agropastoral populations. In North West Pakistan (former FATA), 1.27 million people are expected to be in Crisis or worse (IPC Phase 3 or above) by August 2020 (FSIN, 20 Apr 2020).

As of 26 April, overall 124,299 sq.km area has been surveyed in vulnerable areas, and 8,843 square kilometers have been treated. During the next few weeks, spring breeding will continue in coastal and interior areas of Baluchistan and an increasing number of hoppers will become adults and form groups as well as perhaps a few small swarms. There is no major presence of locust in Sindh, only some in Ghotki, near the border. This year the situation is aggravated as for the first time in many decades, there is a second threat of invasion by swarms in East Africa in late June and during July (FAO, 4 May 2020).

As of 13 May, new swarms from current breeding will form from mid-June onwards, coinciding with the start of the harvest. At this time, there is a risk that swarms will migrate to the summer breeding areas along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border. In Pakistan, adult groups are migrating to the Indian border from breeding areas in Baluchistan and the Indus Valley where hopper groups are present as well as in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Control operations are underway in all affected provinces of Pakistan.(Govt. of Pakistan,13 May 2020)

[Three] Indian States of Madhya Pradesh (MP), Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh (UP) are currently dealing with locusts attack. This is the second round of locust attack in India after the December-February period. As per media reports, 17 districts of UP, 16 districts of Rajasthan and 12 districts of MP have been affected, with the standing crops having been destroyed. In Rajasthan, during the past weeks, small swarms of desert locusts, had already arrived from Pakistan, moving east into Rajasthan, and reaching Jodhpur. Agricultural departments of the affected states are launching initiatives to deal with the crisis. Locusts attacks in India usually last until November but this year the swarms stayed until February which scientists believe was due to the climate crisis. India has proposed a trilateral response in partnership with Pakistan and Iran to combat the desert locust wave sweeping across the Afro-Asian region. (ECHO, 25 May 2020)

As of 26 May, an estimated 1.5 million people have been affected by swarms of desert locusts since January 2020 in what is being called the worst locust outbreak in Pakistan in over 25 years. Pakistan is an important front-line country for desert locusts as it lies on their migratory route and because it covers both summer and winter/spring breeding areas. The existing situation in Pakistan is far worse than initially anticipated, affecting significant areas of food crops, orchards, and fodder, with negative consequences on food security, nutrition, and livelihoods across all provinces. The ongoing response to eradicate and control the locust swarms is being led by the Government with the support of the international community. (OCHA, 26 May 2020)

Full Story