GENERAL REVIEW OF DECEMBER 2021
For the month of December 2021, a total of 204 disasters were reported. The ASEAN Member States that were affected are Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Most of the disasters (88.73%) occurred in Indonesia but the highest number of affected people were reported for the Philippines at more than 8 million. The number of affected persons from the Philippines comprised the majority of the tally for the month of December (87.36%) and is attributed with the developments of Tropical Cyclone RAI. The share of the disaster-affected people for the other ASEAN Member States are as follows: (1) Indonesia-8.6%, (2) Malaysia-0.71%, (3) Myanmar-0.001%, (4) Thailand-0.15%, and (5) Viet Nam-%. December 2021 saw disasters affecting 1,410 per 100,000 people* and displacing 117 per 100,000 people* in the region, which were 8 times and 28 times higher respectively compared with the previous month. December 2021 accounts for 14.51% of the total disasters (1,406), 71.69% of the total cost of damages (814.8 Million USD), and 69.83% of the total cost of assistance provided (21.1 Million USD) reported so far in the current year.
Most of the disasters that have occurred in December 2021 are floods (74.02%) and is consistently the most recorded type of disaster for December of the previous year and December on a five-year average (2016-2020). December 2021 saw disasters caused by hydrometeorological hazards (flood, rain-induced landslides, storm, winds) affecting 99.68% of the total affected persons for the month. The reported disasters in the region for December 2021 in comparison to the historical data (average for December 2016-2020) indicates that there were 7.5x more reported disasters; 3.4x more people affected; 4.6x more people displaced; 15.7x more houses affected to some extent; 5.8x more lives lost; 16.2x more people suffering injuries; and lastly, 10.5x more people that have gone missing.
*Computed based on 2020 population data from worldometers.com
According to the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), compared to the average value from 2001-2020, during December 2021, rainfall was above-average over coastal central parts of Viet Nam, Peninsular Malaysia, and the southern half of the Philippines. The largest positive anomalies (wetter conditions) were detected over central Philippines and Peninsular Malaysia (due to Super Typhoon RAI and Tropical Depression 29W respectively, which made landfall in mid-December), for both satellite-derived rainfall estimates datasets (GSMaP-NRT and CMORPH-Blended). As expected, the start of the dry season for the northern ASEAN region resulted in negligible rainfall anomalies for the rest of Mainland Southeast Asia, where only four disasters caused by floods were reported. Meanwhile, for the equatorial ASEAN region, a mix of above- and below-average rainfalls were observed and accordingly, a number of hydrometeorological disasters were reported.
In the month of December 2021, the Northeast Monsoon was established over a majority of the ASEAN region and is expected to persist until late March 2022. It is during this period that inter-monsoon conditions will typically start to develop. Climatologically, the northern ASEAN region experiences its traditional dry season during the period with the prevailing low-level winds blowing from the northeast or east. Wet conditions will typically prevail over the southern ASEAN region as the monsoon rain band progresses south of the equator. This is seen to occur during the beginning of the outlook period before becoming drier and occasionally windy. This happens as the region experiences the dry phase of the Northeast Monsoon starting late January to early March. The prevailing low-level winds over the southern ASEAN region are expected to blow from the north or northwest. Hydrometeorological disasters are likely as the monsoon rain band moves towards the south of the equator and are less likely for the northern ASEAN region and the southern ASEAN region in the coming weeks during the transition into the dry phase of the Northeast Monsoon.
In the coming period (January to March 2022), there is an increased chance of above-normal rainfall over eastern parts of the Maritime Continent and the Malay Peninsula. La Niña conditions are present. Models are predicting weak to moderate La Niña conditions until March-April 2022, after which the conditions are predicted to return to neutral during April-June 2022. Warmer-than-usual temperature is expected for much of the Maritime Continent (except the Malay Peninsula where near-normal temperature is predicted) and Myanmar during JFM 2022.
Hotspot activities and smoke haze situation are seen to intensify especially in northern parts of Myanmar as the traditional dry season over the northern ASEAN region progresses. Subdued hotspot activities are expected in the southern ASEAN region due to the current wet conditions, but localised hotspots can still occur occasionally during the transition to the dry phase of the Northeast Monsoon.
*Note from ASMC: The qualitative outlook is assessed for the region in general and based on the latest runs from models provided by the SEA RCC-Network LRF node.
For specific updates on the national scale, the relevant ASEAN National Meteorological and Hydrological Services should be consulted.
Sources: ASEAN Disaster Information Network (ADINet), ASEAN Disaster Monitoring and Response System (DMRS), ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB) – Indonesia, Agensi Pengurusan Bencana Negara (NADMA) – Malaysia, Department of Disaster Management (DDM) – Myanmar, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) – Philippines, Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) – Thailand, Viet Nam Disaster Management Authority (VNDMA) – Viet Nam, Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi dan Geofisika (BMKG) – Indonesia, Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) – Indonesia, Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH) – Myanmar, Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) – Philippines, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) – Philippines
Written by : Keith Paolo Landicho, Sadhu Zukhruf Janottama, Lawrence Anthony Dimailig
The AHA Centre’s estimation is based on data and information shared by National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs) and other relevant agencies from ASEAN Member States, international organisations, and news agencies. Further information on each recorded significant disaster, description, and detail of data and information are available at: http://adinet.ahacentre.org/reports.