Internal Displacement Update
Issue 26: 21 September - 18 October 2017

Issue 26 map
Feature

Iraq

Affected areas

Kirkuk and Salah Din governorates

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

More than 133,000 new displacements between 21 September and 17 October

Context

More than 33,000 people were displaced between 21 September and 5 October from Hawija district in Kirkuk governorate and Shirqat district in Salah Din governorate as the Iraqi army launched parallel offensives to drive out Islamic State in the Iraq and Levant (ISIL) fighters. People fled to surrounding areas, some also crossing into Ninewa governorate. “Among them are older people, new-born babies and children who don’t know where their parents are. Although the government has now declared the [Hawija] offensive over, these civilians are still in immediate need of food, water, shelter, and protection and safety,” said the Norwegian Refugee Council’s country director in Iraq, Heidi Diedrich, on 5 October (NRC, 5 Oct 2017; IOM, 5 Oct 2017).

More than 100,000 people were forced out of their homes by conflict in Kirkuk, Makhmur and Tuz Khomato districts between 15 and 17 October as the Iraqi government took back Kurdish-controlled areas. Most displaced families had begun returning by 17 October. Those that remained displaced stayed in the homes of friends or host communities. The Iraqi offensive came in response to last month’s Kurdish independence vote  (OCHA, 17 Oct 2017; Al Jazeera, 18 Oct 2017; OCHA, 21 Oct 2017).

East Asia and Pacific

Indonesia

Affected areas

Bali, East Nusa Tenggara, West Java

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

As many as 188,000 new displacements between 22 September and 10 October

Context

As many as 186,000 people were evacuated from areas surrounding Mount Agung Volcano in Bali between 22 September and 10 October because of the risk of an eruption. Of those evacuated, 150,000 people stayed in evacuation centres while about 30,000 were with friends and family. Although evacuees from villages outside of the danger zone were told they could return to their homes on 30 September, most remained spread across 400 shelters (CNN, 30 Sept 2017; Radio Australia, 10 Oct 2017; BNPB, 16 Oct 2017).

More than 1,300 people were evacuated in Cianjur Regency, West Java, between 1 and 3 October due to landslides and the risk of additional landslides. Some people sheltered in the village hall and school, while others stayed outside of danger zones with family and friends (BNPB, 3 Oct 2017; Jakarta Globe, 4 Oct 2017).

About 700 people were displaced on 10 October due to several earthquakes around Mount Lewotolok in East Nusa Tenggara province that sparked fears of an eruption (BNPB, 11 Oct 2017; Jakarta Globe, 11 Oct 2017).

Vanuatu

Affected areas

Ambae island

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

As many as 11,000 new displacements between 23 September and 18 October

Context

The entire population of Ambae island, about 11,000 people, was displaced by the eruption of Volcano Manaro between 23 September and 18 October. Residents fled towards the islands of Efate, Maewo, Pentecost and Santo, as Manaro spat ash, fire, stones and lava. Only security personnel remained on the island as of 18 October (Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office, 25 Sept 2017 and 18 Oct 2017; ABC, 27 Sept 2017).

Vietnam

Affected areas

Ha Tinh, Nghe An, Quang Bình, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

More than 61,000 new displacements between 9 and 12 October

Context

More than 61,000 people (17,000 households) were evacuated in northern and central Vietnam between 9 and 12 October after heavy rain triggered floods and landslides. The flooding, said to be the worst in decades, submerged some 34,000 houses and caused more than 300 homes to collapse entirely (Thomson Reuters Foundation, 12 Oct 2017; Al Jazeera, 16 Oct 2017).

Europe and Central Asia

Portugal

Affected areas

Minho province

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

About 6,000 new displacements between 15 and 16 October

Context

About 6,000 people were forced to leave their homes on evacuation orders during the night between 15 and 16 October due to fast spreading wildfires in the city of Braga in Minho province and the surrounding Lamaçães valley. The country was battling six separate wildfires as of 16 October (O Minho, 16 Oct 2017).

Latin America and the Caribbean

Costa Rica

Affected areas

Countrywide

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

More than 11,000 new displacements between 4 and 6 October

Context

More than 11,000 people evacuated their homes between 4 and 6 October after Hurricane Nate made landfall bringing flooding and landslides. The hurricane, described as the most destructive storm the country has experienced in recent years, left over 400,000 people without running water (Bohemia, 6 Oct 2017; Floodlist, 6 Oct 2017).

Nicaragua

Affected areas

Countrywide

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

About 17,000 new displacements between 5 and 7 October

Context

More than 17,000 people were displaced between 5 October and 7 October after Hurricane Nate caused countrywide flooding. Of those displaced, about 16,000 people stayed with host families while about 1,300 people sought refuge in shelters (El Voz del Sandinismo, 8 Oct 2017).

Middle East and North Africa

Libya

Affected areas

Zawiya District

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

More than 25,000 new displacements between 17 September and 12 October

Context

More than 25,000 people were displaced by fighting between armed groups in Sabratha in Zawiya district between 17 September and 12 October. This included 11,000 people forced to leave their homes and about 14,000 people evacuated from migrant detention centres in Sabratha to similar centres in the Tripoli area. Of the 11,000 residents, most fled towards nearby cities in Nuqat Khams and Zawiya district. Some returned to Sabratha in the first week of October as the clashes came to an end, while others were unable to return due to the destruction of their homes (IOM, 12 Oct 2017; IOM, 16 Oct 2017).

Syria

Affected areas

Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa governorates

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 117,000 new displacements between 1 September and 13 October

Context

As many as 112,000 people were displaced by heavy fighting in Deir ez-Zor governorate between 1 September and 15 October. Some people fled to areas within the governorate while others crossed into neighbouring Hasakeh, Raqqa and Aleppo (CCCM Cluster, 18 Oct 2017, email on file with IDMC). Syrian Government Forces and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have increased airstrikes and advanced ground troops in the governorate since late July in an attempt to expel ISIL fighters (REACH, 19 Sep 2017; UNHCR, 13 Oct 2017).

About 5,000 people fled Raqqa city to surrounding areas between 22 September and 13 October as an SDF offensive to drive out ISIL reached its final stage (REACH, 13 Oct 2017). The offensive, which began in April, displaced almost all of the city’s population (The Independent, 17 Oct 2017). When the city fell to SDF fighters on 13 October, only two to three thousand people remained and all but two of Raqqa’s neighbourhoods were entirely emptied. No returns are expected in the coming months due to the extensive destruction of the city’s infrastructure and the heavy presence of mines and other unexploded ordnances (REACH, 13 Oct 2017).

North America

United States

Affected areas

Alabama, California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

More than 187,000 new displacements between 20 September and 8 October

Context
California

About 106,000 people were evacuated between 25 and 28 September because of a canyon wildfire in Orange County that destroyed more than 5,000 homes (FEMA, 18 Oct 2017; FEMA 26 Sep 2017; FEMA, 28 Sep 2017). More than 22,000 people displaced by the fires remained out of their homes as of 18 October (CALFIRE, 18 Oct 2017).

Mississippi

More than 1,700 people in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi were evacuated to shelters between 7 and 8 October due to flooding caused by Tropical Storm Nate. The majority of these displacements took place in Mississippi, where evacuation shelters housed about 1,100 people (The Guardian, 8 Oct 2017).

Puerto Rico

About 78,000people were evacuated to more than 170 shelters between 20 and 24 September after Hurricane Maria made landfall bringing strong winds and rain and causing structural damage to Guajataca Dam. This included about 11,000 people forced to leave their homes because of flash floods that took place in the wake of the hurricane, and some 67,000 people who were evacuated from Quesbradillas and Isabela municipalities to higher ground because of the risk of spill-overs from the ruptured dam (FEMA, 24 Sept 2017; FEMA, 23 Sep 2017; Vox News, 22 Sept 2017). About 4,800 people remained in evacuation shelters as of 18 October (FEMA, 18 Oct 2017).

The evacuations due to Hurricane Maria came just two weeks after more than 6,300 people were forced out of their homes because of winds and waves that hammered the coast from Hurricane Irma and caused major power outages across Puerto Rico (Reuters, 7 September 2017).

US Virgin Islands

About 1,400 people were evacuated to shelters in the United States Virgin Islands between 20 and 21 September 2017 as Hurricane Maria battered the region with destructive winds and rain (FEMA, 21 Sept 2017). The storm added to the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma two weeks prior and set back recovery efforts, including tearing down tarping that replaced destroyed roofing and flooding already damaged buildings (New York Times, 27 Sept 2017; The Guardian, 8 Oct 2017). Of those evacuated due to Hurricane Maria, about 300 remained in shelters as of 18 October (FEMA, 18 Oct 2017).

Sub-Saharan Africa

Democratic Republic of Congo

Affected areas

Kasai, South Kivu, Tanganyika

Cause of displacement

Conflict, Disaster

Figures

More than 400,000 new conflict displacements and 213,000 returns between July and 30 September; about 2,700 new disaster displacements between 8 and 10 October

Context

More than 400,000 people were newly displaced by conflict in DRC between July and the end of September, bringing the total number of IDPs in the country to 3.9 million. More than 100,000 people were displaced in North Kivu alone between July and September, most by armed attacks and clashes between Government Armed Forces and various armed groups. Similarly, about 78,000 people were displaced in Maniema and more than 23,000 people in South Kivu because of clashes between the government and armed groups. Inter-communal violence forced people from their homes in Tanganyika province and in the Greater Kasai region (Kasai, Kasai Central, Kasai Oriental, Lomami and Sankuru). This included 68,000 people in Tanganyika and more than 95,000 people in the Greater Kasai region. At the same time, more than 213,000 IDPs returned to their former areas of origin between July and 30 September. This included about 94,000 returnees to Tanganyika, half under a relocation and return programme and about 70,000 returnees to Greater Kasai. Although the security situation calmed in the Greater Kasai, many IDPs returned to burnt and pillaged villages (OCHA, 30 Sep 2017).

About 2,700 people were displaced by floods and wind that destroyed over 500 houses in Kamako, Kasai province between 8 and 10 October. With nowhere to shelter, displaced families slept out in the open (Radio Okapi, 10 Oct 2017).

Somalia

Affected areas

Bakool, Bay, Banadir, Lower Shabelle, Mudug, Sanaag, Togdheer regions

Cause of displacement

Conflict, Disaster

Figures

About 30,000 new disaster displacements; about 11,000 new conflict displacements between 1 and 30 September

Context

About 30,000 people were displaced due to the effects of drought between 1 and 30 September, most within the Bay and Togdheer regions, but also in Bakool, Mudug, and Sanaag. Over the same time period, about 11,000 people fled direct attacks by armed groups as well as clashes between the Somali Army and Al Shabab militants. Most moved from Lower Shabelle to Banadir (UNHCR, 18 Oct 2017; ACLED, 18 Oct 2017).

Central African Republic

Affected areas

Basse-Kotto, Haut-Kotto, Mbomou, Nana-Mambere and Ouham-Pende prefectures

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 31,000 new displacements between 23 September and 10 October

Context

About 15,000 people fled clashes in Bocaranga city in Ouham-Pende between 23 and 26 September as armed groups fought for control of the city. People fled towards Bououm, Bouar, Bangui, and into the bush.

About 8,000 people fled into the bush after the arrival of armed groups and ensuing confrontations in Niem town in Nana-Mambere prefecture between September and early October (OCHA, 26 Sept 2017; OCHA, 9 Oct 2017).

About 8,000 people fled to  Bambari, the capital of Ouaka prefecture, between 18 September and 10 October having been displaced by fighting between armed groups in Mbomou, Haut-Kotto, and Basse-Kotto prefectures (OCHA, 17 Oct 2017).

More than 600,000 people were displaced in CAR as of 30 September. With only 29 percent of displaced people in camps, most IDPs are taken in by local communities, or else sleep out in the bush (CMP, 30 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.