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Hazard Highlights

Threatened Food Security for Hundreds of Thousands Due to Prolonged Drought


PDC Disaster Alert, centered on Sri Lanka, displaying PDC Active Hazards

Prolonged drought since early 2016, has affected over 1 million people in Sri Lanka. Most notably, this includes an estimated 979,000 people affected by a lack of food security. (WFP, UN FAO).

As of April 28, food security is a significant concern for the hardest hit Northern province, with an estimated 450,000 people affected. However, other areas are also affected with an estimated 204,000 in the Western province, 129,000 in the North Western province, and 106,000 in the Eastern province (DMC).

The drought has negatively impacted the last two agricultural harvest seasons. The most recent harvest in March brought in around 50% less crops. Additionally, only 10% of farmers could produce enough seeds to replant for the next harvest season in September. The WFP states that this is Sri Lanka’s worst drought in 40 years (WFP, UN FAO via ReliefWeb).

Some of the worst hit districts, are reporting a significant reduction in water availability based on January 2017 reservoir levels as compared to the same time in 2016. The northern district of Mannar reported Jan. 2017 reservoir levels at 5% vs Jan. 2016’s reservoir levels of 94%. Additionally the neighboring district of Vavuniya reported Jan. 2017 reservoir levels at 9.6% vs Jan. 2016’s reservoir levels of 87% (WFP).

This Week in Hazards

  • As of April 28, Tropical Cyclone Frances is moving west-southwest in the Timor sea between Australia and Indonesia (JTWC). Local government warnings for strong winds and high tides have been issued (Govt. of Australia).
  • From April 20 to April 24, heavy rains have resulted in flooding and landslides on southern parts of Haiti. As of April 25th, initial reports estimate 4 fatalities, 15 destroyed homes, and 10,000 damaged homes. The rains affected many people also hit by Hurricane Matthew in 2016, many of whom are still recovering from Matthew’s impacts (GLIDE, UNOCHA via ReliefWeb)
  • As of April 28, heavy rains since January 2017 have resulted in 38 deaths, affected 35,986 families, and destroyed 231 homes in Ecuador (SGR).

Current Hazard Warnings

Drought: Sri Lanka, Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Angola, United States (Southern Region)

Earthquake: Chile, Philippines

Flood: Peru, Ecuador, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Czechia, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, United States (Idaho, North Dakota, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina)

Severe Storm: United States (Midwest)

Tropical Cyclone: Frances (Australia, Indonesia, Timor-Leste)

Tsunami: Philippines

Winter Storm: United States (Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico), Canada (Ontario)

Wildfire: United States (Arizona)

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