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CrisisInSight Weekly Picks, 21 January 2020

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A migrant caravan of 3,500 people left San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on 15 January. On 19 January, at least 2,000 of them reached Tecun Uman, Guatemala, located at the Mexican Border. Approximately 500 are in shelters. The rest are in immigration and customs points or in the streets. Nearly 1,000 people tried to cross the Suchiate river on 20 January, but were stopped by Mexican police. In addition to those in Tecu Uman, around 800 people are at El Ceibo in northern Guatemala, with approximately 200 in shelters. Humanitarian workers have been deployed and response plans for protection, health, shelter, and food have been activated.

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The use of landmines poses a major protection risk to civilians in Rakhine State. A landmine explosion injured eight people in Shwe Kyan village in Myanmar's Rakhine State on 19 January. Earlier this month, four children were killed and six injured when a landmine exploded in a neighboring township. In both cases, the killed and injured were collecting firewood in the forests near their villages. Civilians collecting food or supplies from the surrounding forests as well as migrants and farmers traveling through fields are most at-risk of landmine explosions. These incidents come after an intensification of conflict between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army in November and December 2019, when clashes between the two caused an estimated 16,000 new displacements. The total number of people living in IDP sites in Rakhine State is approximately 130,000.

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At least 271,000 people have been affected in the provinces of Batangas, Quezon, Laguna, and Cavite, due to ongoing activity from Taal Volcano that began 12 January. The volcano is currently registered at “Alert Level 4”, indicating a high risk of a hazardous explosive eruption. Residents within a 14 km radius have been advised to evacuate. As of 21 January, more than 148,000 people have taken shelter in evacuation centres. In addition to the risk of an explosive eruption, large ash plumes have led to the destruction of homes and crops, death of livestock, and an increase in respiratory diseases. Immediate needs for those displaced include nutrition, potable drinking water, NFIs, and medical attention. Some roads in the vicinity of the volcano remain closed. The long term impact of the volcanic activity on homes, livelihoods, and the well-being of those affected is yet to be determined.

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