Internal Displacement Update
Issue 25: 7 - 20 September 2017

Issue 25 map
Feature

Antigua and Barbuda

Affected areas

Barbuda

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

About 1,400 new displacements between 7 and 8 September

Context

The entire population of Barbuda, about 1,400 people, evacuated to Antigua Island between 7 and 8 September after Hurricane Irma made landfall on 6 September destroying almost all buildings on the island (CDEMA, 10 Sept 2017). Evacuations were carried out amid fears that the island would be hit by a second hurricane. While Hurricane José eventually veered off path, the damage wrought by Irma alone has left the island “almost uninhabitable,” according to the Prime Minister (BBC News, 8 Sept 2017; CNN, 11 Sept 2017).

East Asia and Pacific

Philippines

Affected areas

Calabarzon, Central Luzon, Davao, National Capital regions

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

As many as 42,000 new displacements between 11 and 16 September 2017

Context

As many as 41,000 people were displaced across Central Luzon, Calabarzon and the National Capital Region between 11 and 16 September due to heavy rain and flooding from Typhoon Doksuri (DROMIC, 16 Sept 2017). An additional 700 people were evacuated in Davao City on Mindanao island between 11 and 12 September due to flooding caused by heavy rains (Rappler, 12 Sept 2017).

Vietnam

Affected areas

Ha Tinh, Nghe An, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Tien Hue provinces

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

As many as 117,000 new displacements between 15 and 16 September

Context

As many as 117,000 people were evacuated after Typhoon Doksuri hit provinces in the central region bringing floods and heavy winds on 15 September (VGP News, 16 Sept 2017). This included the evacuations of about 44,000 people in Ha Tinh province, 34,000 people in Quang Binh province, 20,000 people in Quang Tri province, 18,000 in Nghe An province and 1,400 in Thua Thien Hue province (Floodlist, 15 Sept 2017). The typhoon wreaked widespread housing damage and inundated thousands of hectares of rice fields and other agricultural land (Vietnam News, 19 Sept 2017). 

Latin America and the Caribbean

Cuba

Affected areas

Country-wide

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

As many as 1.7 million new displacements between 8 and 17 September

Context

As many as 1.7 million people were forced to evacuate as a consequence of Hurricane Irma that made landfall on 8 September, bringing strong winds and flooding that caused widespread damage to thirteen of Cuba’s sixteen provinces. The province of Villa Clara had more than 200,000 evacuees, the highest recorded number. Of the total number of people forced to leave their homes, about 200,000 sought refuge in evacuation centres on 11 September, the rest staying with neighbours or relatives (UN Resident Coordinator, 12 Sept 2017). Hurricane Irma caused the collapse of about 16,500 houses, 13,000 of which are in the province of Camagüey, where Irma made first landfall (UN Resident Coordinator, 17 Sept 2017). 

Mexico

Affected areas

Chiapas, Oxaca, Puebla and Veracruz states

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

As many as 96,000 new displacements between 7 and 19 September

Context

More than 88,000 people were displaced between 7 and 13 September following the destruction of their homes by a magnitude 8.1 earthquake that shook the southern coastal states of Chiapas and Oaxaca on 7 September. Those rendered homeless sought shelter across official relief centres, in hostels or with host families (UN, 13 Sept 2017).

More than 400 people were evacuated in the the states of Veracruz and Puebla after Hurricane Katia made landfall on 8 September, bringing severe rains, winds, flooding and landslides (Floodlist, 11 Sept 2017; UN, 13 Sept 2017). 

More than 7,500 people were displaced when a second earthquake struck central and southern Mexico on 19 September causing buildings and bridges to collapse in Mexico, Puebla and Morelos states (Voice of America, 24 Sept 2017). This included more than 3,000 people whose homes were destroyed in Mexico state alone (Excelsior, 25 Sept 2017). The government had set up 129 evacuation shelters across the three affected states as of 20 September, however the total number of people displaced by the quake will not be known until a later period (IFRC, 20 Sept 2017; CNN, 20 Sept 2017; Secretaria de Gobernacion, 20 Sept 2017; Secretaria de Gobernacion, 22 Sept 2017).

North America

United States

Affected areas

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

More than 222,000 new displacements between 4 and 13 September

Context

More than 222,000 people were evacuated between 4 and 13 September as Hurricane Irma approached and made landfall on 10 September battering south-eastern states with strong winds, heavy rain and tidal surges. Most evacuations were in Florida, where about 192,000 were moved to shelters, with smaller numbers housed in evacuation centres in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina and Mississippi (FEMA, 11 Sept 2017; FEMA, 12 Sept 2017; FEMA, 13 Sept 2017). While about 6.3 million Floridians and 540,000 Georgians were issued evacuation orders, both mandatory and voluntary, the exact numbers of people who left their homes in these states is difficult to verify outside of those who sought refuge in evacuation shelters (The Boston Globe, 9 Sept 2017; The Chicago Tribune, 10 Sept 2017; Reuters, 7 Sept 2017). In South Carolina, however, it is known that about 22,000 sought refuge outside of shelters (South Carolina Emergency Management Division, phone correspondence, 19 Sept 2017). 

South Asia

Afghanistan

Affected areas

Kandahar, Kapisa, Kunar, Kunduz, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Paktya, Uruzgan provinces

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 30,500 new displacements between 11 and 17 September

Context

About 30,500 people were newly displaced by conflict between 11 and 17 September. Of those displaced, as many as 21,000 people fled districts in the southern provinces of Kandahar and Uruzgan, while the remaining 9,500 fled conflict or intimidation from non-state armed groups across the provinces of Kapisa, Kunduz, Kunar, Nangarhar, Nuristan and Paktya (OCHA, 17 Sept 2017). 

Despite the volatile security situation, more than 18,000 Afghans returned from Iran, and about 1,300 from Pakistan between 10 and 16 September (IOM, 16 Sept 2017).

Sub-Saharan Africa

Central African Republic

Affected areas

Basse-Kotto, Haut-Kotto prefectures

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 15,000 new displacements between 4 and 10 September; more than 17,000 secondary displacements between 4 and 19 September

Context

More than 32,000 people were displaced by violence in Basse-Kotto prefecture between 4 and 19 September as clashes between armed groups intensified, triggering two large waves of population movement. The first involved a group of about 15,000 people, mostly women and children, who fled clashes in Mingala towards Mbopouloubou (OCHA, 10 Sept 2017). The second wave entailed about 16,000 IDPs who were secondarily uprooted by fighting in the south of the prefecture and fled towards the neighbouring Ouaka prefecture (OCHA, 19 Sept 2017). Towns and villages in Basse-Kotto have been almost emptied since the prefecture exploded into conflict earlier this year with the arrival of  militia from the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic in Alindao town. Civilians have borne the brunt of the violence fleeing into the bush, church compounds and other ad hoc displacement sites to seek refuge from brutal attacks, including mass rape and torture (Amnesty International, 8 Sept 2017). 

About 1,000 people were secondarily displaced following severe fighting between 7 and 8 September in the Bornou district of Bria in Haut-Kotto province. This number is believed to be only a tiny fraction of a much larger group of people forced to flee clashes that spread across three of the town’s districts. Despite a cessation of hostilities, ongoing tensions between the belligerents means the security situation in Bria remains unpredictable (OCHA, 10 Sept 2017).

Democratic Republic of Congo

Affected areas

Haut-Katanga, Kasaï, North Kivu

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

As many as 48,000 new displacements; about 45,000 returns between August and 11 September

Context

As many as 20,000 people were displaced from villages in Pweto Territory, Haut-Katanga, between late August and 13 September due to flares in inter-communal violence. By 13 September, 98 per cent of villages in the area had been emptied (OCHA, 13 Sept 2017). 

As many as 10,000 people fled Alimbongo towards neighbouring villages in Lubero territory, North-Kivu, between the end of August and 11 September owing to clashes between government armed forces and Mayi-Mayi militia. An additional 17,500 people arrived in Hombo in Walilake Territory from early August to 7 September, having fled confrontations between various factions of the militia and government forces around Walowa Loanda villages in Lubero territory (OCHA, 11 Sept 2017). Large numbers of new displacements in Lubero territory, North-Kivu, follow an intensification of clashes between militia and government forces in the area since early August. 

In Kasaï province, amid a slight improvement of the security situation, more than 45,000 people returned to Mayi Munene, Masangu Nayi et Lungudi villages by 1 September, having fled earlier bouts of violence that left significant destruction from burning and looting of the area (OCHA, 8 Sept 2017). 

Ethiopia

Affected areas

Oromia, Somali regions

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

More than 55,000 new displacements between 11 and 17 September

Context

About 55,000 people, mainly ethnic Oromos, were displaced from the Somali region to Oromia and Harari due to clashes between 11 and 17 September along the southern division between the Oromia and Somali regions. Tens of thousands of ethnic Somalis were also reportedly displaced within the Somali region due to clashes at the border (NRC, 19 Sept 2017, email on file with IDMC; VOA, 17 Sept 2017). 

After almost two decades of dispute between Ethiopia’s largest regions over the delineation of their common boundary, violence was renewed in April after the Ethiopian government moved to rearrange the borderline as per the 2004 referendum outcome. This announcement, combined with a flare in ethnic clashes between Oromo and Ethiopian Somalis over scarce water and land resources related to drought, resulted in levels of violence not seen since the 2005 post-referendum period (Global Voices, 18 Sept 2017; VOA, 17 Sept 2017; Horn Affairs, 16 Sept 2017; NRC, 18 Sept 2017). 

Notes For the purposes of this update, refugee and IDP returns do not imply the achievement of a durable solution. The terminology, names and designations used in this update and the material in links do not imply any opinion on the part of IDMC.
Displacement figures reported here are indicative only and have been rounded to the nearest 10 (if the figure is less than 999), 100 (if the figure is less than 10,000) or 1,000 (if the figure is 10,000 or larger).
The IDU gives priority to displacement flows that occurred or were reported in stated period. However, due to reliance on third party sources, certain entries may include information that refers to an earlier reporting period. For the purposes of this update, refugee and IDP returns do not imply the achievement of a durable solution. For IDMC-validated and peer-reviewed figures, read our Global Report on Internal Displacement.