Asia Pacific Regional Weekly Humanitarian Update - 25 May 2021
Over 9,000 people have been internally displaced in the town of Mindat and surrounding areas in Chin State following an escalation of violence since 12 May. The displaced population are hosted in 23 sites, mainly monasteries, churches and host communities in and around the town. There are also reports that a higher number of people had fled to the forest and mountainous areas due to the violence and insecurity, in addition to reports of civilian casualties, and damage to and occupation of civilian infrastructure.
According to local sources, the displaced population are in urgent need of food, water, medicine, shelter and protection services, such as gender-based violence and psychological support. Local communities and religious institutions are making efforts to provide humanitarian assistance; however, this is not reaching everyone in need. Access restrictions, including due to road blockages and insecurity, are complicating the efforts to assess needs and scale-up response. The United Nations in Myanmar issued a statement on 21 May urging the security forces to take all necessary measures and precautions to spare civilians and civilian infrastructure, and called on all involved to facilitate the delivery of relief to people fleeing the violence, those trapped in their homes and everyone affected by the violence.
Tropical Cyclone Yaas has formed over the Bay of Bengal from a deep depression and is moving towards the north-eastern coast of India. Yaas is predicted to make landfall over the Indian states of Odisha and West Bengal on 26 May with wind speeds of up to 185 km/h and potential storm surge of more than 3.5 meters along coastal areas of India and Bangladesh. Due to full moon and high tide, the height of the storm surge could increase by an additional one meter or more. Authorities in eastern India are evacuating at least one million people from low-lying areas and areas prone to storm surge and have mobilized rescue and relief teams. While the impact of Yaas is expected to be less severe in Bangladesh, authorities in the Barisal Division are preparing to evacuate about two million people. Disaster Management Committees in coastal districts are preparing cyclone shelters and are pre-positioning emergency supplies. Yaas comes only a week after Cyclone Tauktae battered the western coast of India as the first tropical storm this season.
COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka have rapidly risen in recent weeks. On 21 May, a new record of over 3,600 new daily cases was confirmed, with Colombo the most affected district. The Government has instituted nightly movement restrictions and limits on inter-provincial travel until 30 May.
Starting 21 May, Sri Lanka closed its airports and borders for all inbound international passengers for ten days. As of 9 May, over 935,000 people have received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and over 198,000 people the second dose. However, about 600,000 doses are lacking to complete the second vaccination round, which were originally to be provided by India. UNICEF and WHO are working closely with the Ministry of Health under the Sri Lanka Preparedness and Response Plan and towards the procurement of the vaccines under the COVAX facility.
A 7.4 magnitude earthquake at a depth of 10km hit northwest China's Qinghai Province on 22 May, leaving at least 18 people injured and affected over 32,000 people, according to state media. The earthquake’s epicenter was in a remote location in Maduo County, which is located over 4,000 meters above sea level. The central and provincial governments have allocated 69 million yuan (10.7 million U.S. dollars) for earthquake relief, and distributed relief materials to affected people.