Internal Displacement Update
Issue 29: 14 December 2017 - 10 January 2018

Issue 29 map
Feature

Philippines

Affected areas

Bicol (Region V), Western Visayas (VI), Central Visayas (VII), Eastern Visayas (VIII), Zamboanga (IX), Northern Mindanao (X), Davao (XI), Soccsksargen (XII), Caraga (XIII), Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Southwestern Tagalog (MIMAROPA)

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

Around 1.3 million new displacements between 16 December and 10 January

Context

As many as 790,000 people were displaced between 16 and 28 December in Regions V, VI, VII, VIII, XIII and MIMAROPA due to Tropical Storm Urduja/Kai-Tak which made landfall in the Philippines on 12 December and exited on 19 December. A total of 418,000 people stayed in evacuation centres, while 372,000 people stayed with families and friends. As of 28 December, all evacuees had returned home (DROMIC, 4 Jan 2018).

As many as 447,000 people were displaced between 22 December and 6 January in Regions MMAROPA, VII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII and ARMM due to Tropical Storm Tembin (known locally as Vinta) which hit the Philippines on 22 December and exited on 24 December. There were 98,000 people still displaced as of 6 January, of which about 76,000 people were staying inside evacuation centers and 22,000 people with family and friends (DROMIC, 6 Jan 2018). According to government sources, the scale of the disaster may have been attributed to two factors: naturally formed dams caused by intense rain broke and flooded the villages below and difficulties in convincing people to evacuate their homes shortly before Christmas. Among the areas battered by Tembin was Marawi, a lakeside city in Lanao del Sur that is still recovering from a five-month siege by a group affiliated to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) (Chicago Tribune, 25 Dec 2017; ACAPS, 28 Dec 2017). Tembin also led to significant displacement in Vietnam (see Vietnam entry below).

As many as 47,000 people were displaced between 1 and 10 January in regions MIMAROPA, VI, VII, X, and XIII due to Tropical Depression Agaton. here were about 1,600 people still displaced as of 6 January, of which about 1,300 were staying inside evacuation centers and about 300 were staying with relatives (DROMIC, 6 Jan 2018).

East Asia and Pacific

Malaysia

Affected areas

Johor, Kelantan, Pahang, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak, Terengganu

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

Around 16,700 new displacements between 18 December and 10 January

Context

As many as 830 people were evacuated between 18 and 22 December in the states of Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo Island following heavy rain and flooding from Tropical Depression Kai-Tak. About 170 people were evacuated in Sabah when rivers overflowed in Kota Belud and Kota Maradu, while about 660 people were evacuated in Sarawak (Floodlist, 21 Dec 2017; NADMA, 4 Jan 2018; NADMA, 4 Jan 2018; NADMA, 4 Jan 2018).

In addition, annual northeast monsoon season has led to flooding and rain in the new year which has led to significant displacement (Floodist, 12 Jan 2018). As many as 120 people were evacuated on 1 January following floods in Kelantan state (NADMA, 4 Jan 2018). As many as 420 people were evacuated on 1 January following floods in Johor state (NADMA, 8 Jan 2018). As many as 2,700 people were evacuated on 1 January following floods in Terengganu state (NADMA, 8 Jan 2018). As many as 11,000 people were evacuated between 2 and 10 January following floods in Pahang state (NADMA, 10 Jan 2018). About 940 people were evacuated between 2 and 3 January following floods in Sabah state (NADMA, 4 Jan 2018; NADMA, 4 Jan 2018). Around 50 people were evacuated between 6 and 7 January in Sarawak following floods and landslides due to torrential rain in various districts in northern and central parts of the state (The Star, 8 Jan 2018). Around 25 people were displaced in Penang between 3 and 5 January due to heavy rains and flooding. The Junjung river in Seberang Perai Selatan district reached 3.66 metres on 5 January, above the danger mark of 3.10 metres (Floodlist, 5 Jan 2018).

Myanmar

Affected areas

Kachin state, Shan state

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

As many as 3,900 new displacements between 14 December and 7 January

Context

As many as 3,900 new displacements took place in Myanmar during the reporting period, which saw an escalation of fighting between the Myanmar army (Tatmadaw) and ethnic armed groups in Myanmar’s Kachin and northern Shan states. About 1,240 people were displaced from Kyaukme and Namhsan townships in northern Shan state between 27 December and 7 January due to clashes between the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and the Myanmar army (OCHA, 8 Jan 2018; The Irrawaddy, 5 Jan 2018), and about 500 people were displaced within Shan’s Mansi township between 22 December and 3 January due to clashes between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Myanmar army (RFA, 3 Jan 2018; OCHA, 2 Jan 2018). About 200 IDPs were also secondarily displaced to host families from an IDP camp in Laiza township, Kachin state, between 14 and 18 of December, as mortar shells landed in the vicinity of the IDP camps (OCHA, 26 Dec 2017; OCHA, 18 Dec 2017). In addition, more than 2,000 people were temporarily displaced to churches due to fighting between the KIA and the Myanmar army in Kachin’s Hpakant township between 30 December and 2 January (DVB, 2 Jan 2018).

Vietnam

Affected areas

Southeast and Mekong River delta regions

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

About 431,000 people evacuated between 25 and 26 December

Context

About 431,000 people were evacuated in the Southeast and Mekong River delta between 25 and 26 December after Typhoon Tembin swept through the Philippines causing large waves of displacement. The typhoon was forecasted to reach Vietnam in the evening of 25 December bringing strong winds and heavy rain to the south and central parts of the country, with low-lying provinces in the southern tip of the country particularly at risk. On 26 December, Tembin was downgraded to a tropical depression, and while it did not make landfall in Vietnam, it brought significant rainfall to the Southern and mid-Central provinces (Central Steering Committee on Disaster Prevention and Control, 26 Dec 2017; AHA Centre, 27 Dec 2017; IFRC, 26 Dec 2017, on file with IDMC).

Middle East and North Africa

Iran

Affected areas

Bakhtiari, Boyerahmad, Chaharmahal, Fars, Gilan, Golestan, Isfahan, Kerman, Khuzestan, Kohgiluyeh, Lorestan, Mazandaran, Qazvin, Semnan, Tehran

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

More than 40,000 new displacements between 14 and 27 December

Context

Over 40,000 people were newly displaced in Iran between 14 and 27 December due to several earthquakes which hit the country. More than 20,000 people were displaced between 21 and 27 December in Kuhbanan district in Kerman province due to a 5.2 magnitude earthquake which hit the district on 21 December (IRCS, 27 Dec 2017). More than 20,000 were displaced in Tehran between 20 and 21 December when a 5.2 magnitude earthquake affected area near Tehran. The displaced spent a night outside their houses out of fear of strong aftershocks (Radio Liberty, 21 Dec 2017). 74 people were displaced across Bakhtiari, Boyerahmad, Chaharmahal, Fars, Gilan, Golestan, Isfahan, Kerman, Khuzestan, Kohgiluyeh, Lorestan, Mazandaran, Qazvin and Semnan and provinces in western and central Iran, between 5 and 9 January due to heavy snowstorms (IRCS, 10 Jan 2017).

Iraq

Affected areas

Anbar

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

More than 2,400 forced returns between 21 November and 2 January

Context

More than 2,400 people were forced to return between 21 November and 2 January from IDP camps to unsafe areas in Anbar governorate. The returns are considered unsafe as homes are destroyed and contaminated with mines and unexploded ordinances. People must be in their place of origin to be able to cast their votes, so the Iraqi government is forcing these returns in order to prevent delays to the upcoming elections of May 2018 (Reuters, 7 Jan 2018).

Syria

Affected areas

Aleppo, Hama, Idleb, Raqqa, Rural Damascus

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

Over 60,000 new displacements between 1 November and 29 December; over 85,500 returns between the end of October and 13 December

Context

Over 60,000 new displacements were recorded between 1 November and 24 December in the northeastern area of Hama, the southern and southeastern area of Idleb, as well as in the southern area of Aleppo as clashes between the government forces and non-state armed groups intensified (OCHA, 3 Jan 2018). Twenty nine people were evacuated from Eastern Ghouta between 27 and 29 December due to medical reasons. The area has been besieged by government forces since 2013 (Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations, 29 Dec 2017).

More than 85,500 people returned to Raqqa between the end of October and 13 December, mostly to eastern and western neighbourhoods. The majority of returnees are still unable to return to their original homes and are staying in provisional shelters (REACH, 15 Dec 2017). The city is heavily mined and contaminated with unexploded ordnances which put returnees at high risk. Approximately 200 returnees died between 20 October and 13 December when attempting to reach their homes (OCHA, 10 Dec 2017).

North America

United States of America

Affected areas

California (Counties of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura)

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

More than 23,100 new displacements between 3 and 10 January

Context

More than 23,100 people were evacuated between 3 and 10 January in the Southern region of California in the counties of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura as consequence of mudslides (FEMA, 9 Jan 2018). The mudslides began around 2:30 AM on Tuesday 2 January, when intense rains dislodged boulders and caused heavy mudflow along hillsides that were scarred by the sprawling Thomas fire late last year (Los Angeles Times, 10 Jan 2018). As result of the landslides 300 houses were damaged (The New York Times, 10 Jan 2018) and around 100 were destroyed (Los Angeles Times, 10 Jan 2018).

Sub-Saharan Africa

Central African Republic

Affected areas

Haut-Kotto, Nana-Gribizi, Ouaka, Ouham, Ouham Pende

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

As many as 119,000 new displacements between 1 December and 9 January; 1,440 returns between 17 and 26 December

Context

About 59,000 people were displaced in Ouham Pende Prefecture between 14 December and 9 January. About 58,000 people fled towards Paoua town between 27 December and 9 January due to confrontations between armed groups in Bémal, Bessah, Bédéré, Gouzé, and Betoko. As of 9 January the situation had calmed down in Paoua but not in its surrounding areas (OCHA, 9 Jan 2018). An additional 1,000 villagers from Mbaibere, Mbaideng, and Kollo villages in Ngoundaye Sub Prefecture, who were located in PK41, 48, and 57 camps respectively, had to flee again into the bush during the night of 14 December after an incursion of armed groups on the camps (OCHA, 18 Dec 2017).

About 8,500 people were newly displaced in Ouham Prefecture between 20 December and 9 January due to armed clashes. About 1,280 households (5,000 people) were displaced towards the catholic church in Markouda during the same period when five villages between Markounda and Bodjomo were set ablaze (OCHA, 9 Jan 2018). Additionally, 1,400 people were forced to flee towards Boguila town when the Paoua confrontations that started on 27 December in Ouham-Pende prefecture also affected Markounda and Bodjomo localities in Ouham prefecture. In Batangafo Sub Prefecture, an additional 2,000 people were displaced from Kambakota village towards host families on the Kambakota-Benzambe road. An armed group carried out a retaliatory attack on Kambakota on 20 December and burned down 300 houses (OCHA, 26 Dec 2017; OCHA, 2 Jan 2018).

About 32,000 new displacements were recorded in the month of December in the town of Bria, in Haut Kotto Prefecture. This is partly due to ongoing tensions and confrontations around Bria but also to the fact that IDPs (mainly in host families) in the neighbourhood of Bornou were not counted in November (OCHA, 8 Jan 2018). Fighting around Bria led to the emptying of the Bria-Ippy road since 4 December. Most of the IDPs fleeing this violence are now in the PK03 camp, in hospitals and in the Catholic mission. Several of them are reportedly trying to return to their homes (OCHA, 17 Dec 2017; OCHA, 18 Dec 2017; OCHA, 24 Dec 2017). Furthermore, the preemptive displacement of an unspecified number of people into the bush was recorded between 2 and 8 January when clashes led to the burning down of houses (OCHA, 8 Jan 2018).

About 1,600 people escaped their homes in Nana-Gribizi between 17 and 26 December due to clashes in Mres center (Mbres Sub Prefecture). About 1,440 of these people had returned to their neighborhoods as of 26 December (OCHA, 26 Dec 2017; OCHA, 18 Dec 2017).

About 18,000 people were newly displaced in Ouaka between 10 and 24 December due to armed clashes between armed groups in Ippy and Ndassima. These IDPs fled to the Aviation, PK8, and NDV camps in Ippy and to host families in Bambari. Most of them come from Ippy, Ndassima, and Djoubissou. A few IDPs are in Bakala, and six per cent of the newly displaced individuals are Fula people from Atongo Bakary (Basse-Kotto) and Gambo (Mbomou) (OCHA, 24 Dec 2017). A mission between 27 and 29 December found that only about 7,700 IDPs were taking refuge in the catholic church and health center mid-mission camps. About 7,000 left the health center camp to escape into the bush, after attacks on 12 December targeted the camp. There have also been threats of attacks on the catholic church (OCHA, 2 Jan 2018).

Madagascar

Affected areas

Alaotra Mangoro, Amoron’i Mania, Analamanga, Analanjirofo, Atsinanana, Boeny, Haute Matsiatra and Vatovavy Fitovinany

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

About 35,000 new displacements between 4 and 9 January

Context

About 35,000 people were displaced between 4 and 9 January due to floods and landslides as Tropical Cyclone Ava hit the country, leaving 29 dead (BNGRC, 9 Jan 2018; Reuters, 8 Jan 2018). The most urgent needs following the disaster were the provision of water, sanitation and health care to affected populations (OCHA, 8 Jan 2018). Madagascar is regularly hit by cyclones, and was already severely impacted in March 2017 when Cyclone Enawo displaced as many as 247,000 people (IOM/DTM, 17 March 2017).

Sudan

Affected areas

Northern state

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

More than 2,700 new displacements between 14 and 19 December

Context

More than 2,700 people were displaced in Sudan’s Northern state’s Merowe locality between 14 and 19 December, as an unknown water source flooded the area. While the cause of the flood remains unknown, residents believed the flood to be linked to a local agricultural project (Radio Dabanga, 19 Dec 2017).

Somalia

Affected areas

Mogadishu

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

More than 27,000 new displacements between 31 December and 10 January

Context

More than 27,000 people were evicted from IDP camps in the outskirts of Mogadishu between the end of December and 10 January. The Somali army destroyed IDP shelters in the camp which belonged mostly to people who were forced to flee due to the effects of drought during the past year (World Vision, 10 Jan 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.