Directory >> /v2007/Programs/UDRM/PROMISE/INFORMATION RESOURCES/Monthly-Enews/2009/July/July2009.asp

  Program Goals and Objectives
  City Demonstration Projects
  City Profiles
  Country Partners
  HVR Assessments
  IEC Materials
  Capacity Building
  Advocacy for Mainstreaming
  Regional Networking
  Monthly Status Reports
  Quarterly Status Reports
  Working Group Meetings
  Final Reports
  Monthly E-newsletter
  Safer Cities
  DRM Primers
  PROMISE Online
supported by


Disaster Mitigation
in Asia

31 July 2009
Issue No. 70

The Program for Hydro-meteorological Disaster Mitigation in Secondary Cities in Asia (PROMISE), funded by USAID/OFDA, commenced from October 2005.  The objective of the program is to contribute towards reduction of vulnerability of urban communities through enhanced preparedness and mitigation of hydro-meteorological disasters in South and Southeast Asia.  Components of the program consist of capacity building in hydro-meteorological disaster risk reduction, risk management advocacy, networking and dissemination initiatives, and city demonstration projects in selected countries.  Through consultations with a number of ADPC partners, five project countries were selected in 2005 for implementing demonstration projects in a highly vulnerable city with recent history of hydro-meteorological disasters – Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.  The projects in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Vietnam were finished by June 2008.  The projects in the Philippines and Sri Lanka were given supplementary activities, while a project in Indonesia began in February 2008.  The main activities for July are to finish the country projects.  A new phase for PROMISE will begin in August.

PROGRAM ACTIVITIES for July to August 2009:

INDONESIA – PROMISE ID focused on the completion of the remaining activities of the project.  The team worked on the completion of the SMAN 8 school action plan, SOP for the school flood early warning system, and simulation of the communication protocol for flood alerts.  The eBook on flood disaster mitigation was finalized, and is available online on the PROMISE pages (see Resources section).  The flood EWS was handed over to the communities and Jakarta Provincial Government.  Remaining activities are project auditing and writing of the final report.

PHILIPPINES –   Dagupan City commemorated Disaster Preparedness Day last July 16 with several activities under the theme of disaster preparedness, including a poster-making contest among high school students, a city-wide one minute of silence and contemplation to remember the North Luzon earthquake on 16 July 1990, and a planning meeting among city stakeholders for the city-wide earthquake and fire drill that was executed on July 21.  The drill involved the banks and business establishments in the liquefaction-prone business district.  The drill was evaluated by the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council, and the city’s Disaster Coordinating Council earned a score of 95%.  On July 17 and 18, Prof. Galliard and Emman Maceda of the University of the Philippines helped the Barangay Mangin Disaster Coordinating Council update and improve their 3D risk map.  The DRR training workshop for public school teachers was held on July 23.  It was attended by the principals, teachers, and disaster point persons from the primary and secondary schools in Dagupan City.  The PROMISE team distributed IEC materials to the participants.  During the workshop, city education Superintendent Ruby Torio issued a memorandum to: organize a district-wide DRR organization, require a hazard map/risk assessment per school; and provide feedback on the IEC materials distributed during the workshop.  The PROMISE experience in CBDRM has been made into a CBDRM Training Manual entitled Kahandaan, Katatagan at Kaunlaran ng Komunidad, written by Ms. Lorna P. Victoria of the Center for Disaster Preparedness.  A version for consultation was reproduced and distributed to 100 participants of the Northern Luzon DRR Network workshop on July 28.  Ms. Padma Karunaratne of ADPC attended the event; the highlights include action planning for DRR and climate change adaptation and a covenant signing for DRR among the different public officials of the various municipalities, cities and provinces that constitute the network.  Finally, UNISDR invited Dagupan City to make a presentation on the PROMISE Philippines experience at the UNISDR conference “Building a Local Government Alliance for DRR” in August.

SRI LANKA – This month, the PROMISE SL team continued the work on the project activities.  The disaster management plan has been finished; only the information boards showing hazard maps need to be put up in the selected strategic places around the city.  All the remaining training programs for the health sector were conducted this month.  Construction work on the last two drains and the set up of the DRR resource center will be continued next month.


A. From the Region

(1) Japan reports first case of Tamiflu-resistant H1N1 flu, July 3
(based on a report by Xinhua)

The Japanese health ministry reported the first detected, genetic mutation of the new H1N1 strain of influenza A that develops resistance to the anti-flu drug Tamiflu.  The Tamiflu-resistant virus was detected in a woman in her 40s infected with the new influenza in Osaka Prefecture; she recovered after being administered Relenza, another anti-flu drug.  The first case of H1N1 that showed resistance to Tamiflu was reported in Denmark at the end of last month.

Other updates in July:

  • Thailand Puts Flu Cooperation on ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Agenda (link)

  • WHO suspends reporting of H1N1 case counts (link)

  • Changes in reporting requirements for pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus infection (link)

  • Laboratory-confirmed cases of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 as officially reported to WHO by States Parties to the IHR (link)

(2) Climate change hit list
(based on a report from IRIN)

The World Bank has made a list of the five main threats arising from climate change: droughts, floods, storms, rising sea levels, and greater uncertainty in agriculture. Four of the world's poorest nations top the list of the 12 countries at the highest risk, and two of the four are from Asia – Bangladesh and Vietnam.  Bangladesh heads the list of countries most at risk of flooding. Increasing glacial melt from the Himalayan ranges as a result of rising global temperatures is set to swell the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers and their hundreds of tributaries, flooding 30-70 percent of the country each year as the water makes its way to the Bay of Bengal in the south, where the coast is also vulnerable to flooding from rising sea levels.  Vietnam is most threatened by rising sea levels: up to 16 percent of its area, 35 percent of its people, and 35 percent of its gross domestic product could be hard hit if the sea level rises by five meters, according to another World Bank study.  The Philippines, a middle-income country, leads the list of nations most in danger of facing frequent and more intense storms.  Other Asian countries in the list are: Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Viet Nam.  View the complete list at:

 (3) Dengue outbreak in Sri Lanka
(based on a report from IRIN)

Sri Lankan health authorities are facing one of the worst dengue outbreaks in years - more than 15,500 cases and 168 deaths have been reported since January, according to the Ministry of Health.  The central hill district of Kandy is the worst affected, with about 2,200 cases.  The government has taken steps to contain its spread, including public awareness campaigns, outdoor spraying campaigns and clean-up operations. At the same time, it is trying to import a bacterium, Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis or BTI, which can kill the mosquito at the larvae stage.  The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that some 2.5 billion people are now at risk and a possible 50 million dengue infections worldwide annually. 

(4) Floods in Asia
(based on reports from Alertnet)

Dozens of people have been killed after heavy rains triggered severe flooding in southern and central China and northern regions of Vietnam. Torrential rains have forced more than 300,000 people to flee their homes in China, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. Meanwhile, a landslide caused by torrential rain killed about 30 people in northern Myanmar at the weekend when it swept away their homes, which were built on a mine dump.  Heavy rains have caused floods in Pakistan, India and Vietnam. In the southern Indian state of Orissa, at least 36 people have died and half a million homes have been inundated by monsoon downpours; more rains are expected. In Pakistan, 26 people died in the southern city of Karachi on July 18-19 when rains flooded low-lying areas, damaging hundreds of homes, downing power lines and inundating power stations.  Heavy rains across the southern Philippines have resulted in massive flooding in many low-lying areas of Mindanao Island; about 160,000 people in central Mindanao or about 31,955 families have been affected so far, and large parts remain inundated.  Meanwhile, traffic ground to a halt in Hanoi, Viet Nam amid flooding.

B. Calls for Submission

(5) Call for Participation: ALNAP Survey on the Humanitarian System

Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP), a UK-based network, is conducting a “State of the Humanitarian System” review.  The survey is a component of a study assessing the overall composition and performance of the international humanitarian system, and its current strengths and weaknesses.  To participate,
go to:

(6) Call for Submissions: A Policy-Focused Approach to Natural Hazards and Disasters

Submissions are now being accepted for a special issue of the Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research. Publishers are looking for cross-disciplinary and transnational papers that examine the causes and consequences of natural disasters, with a special emphasis on crafting comprehensive disaster policy solutions. Topics can include policy frameworks for natural disaster management, public-private disaster management partnerships, risk and vulnerability assessment, global climate change and natural disasters, implementation of disaster mitigation policies, adaptive management and natural disasters, promoting disaster-resilient communities, or trans-boundary disaster management. Deadline: August 30, 2009.  For more information, visit the Call for

(7) Second call for nominations for the Habitat Scroll of Honour

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UNHABITAT) is still accepting nominations to the Habitat Scroll of Honour. The award acknowledges initiatives that made outstanding contributions in all areas of shelter provision and improving the quality of urban life. Please send your nominations and submissions to before 15 August 2009. Submission guidelines are available here:

C. Conferences and Courses

(6) Building a Local Government Alliance for DRR: Incheon, Republic of Korea – 11-13 August 2009
Organizers: UNISDR and Incheon Metropolitan City.

UNISDR and Incheon City are organizing a conference to stimulate a constructive debate on priority areas of common concern in disaster risk reduction, particularly with respect to their implications at the local level. The conference will be mainly targeted to local government representatives, but will also see the active participation and contribution of national governments, United Nations organizations, as well as NGOs and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).  For more information please consult the conference website 

(7) Regional Training Course on Incident Command System for Disaster Management – Phuket, Thailand: 10-16 August 2009

Organizers: Asian Disaster Preparedness Center.  This course is designed to enable practitioners to operate efficiently during an incident or event within the Incident Command System (ICS). This course focuses on the management of single resources. The objectives of the ICS course is to provide participants with the in-depth knowledge on Incident Command System, describe the ICS organization appropriate to the complexity of the incident or event and use ICS to manage an incident or event efficiently. The proposed training will offer course work, hands on training with series of table top simulation exercises, lessons learned, good practices and field visit.  For more information, download the brochure from:

(8) Third Central Asia GIS Conference – Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan: 27-28 August 2009

Organizers: Kyrgyz State University for Construction, Transportation & Architecture.  This conference will bring together practitioners from Central Asian countries.  The topics to be discussed include GIS for Environmental Management, Emergency Management, and Health.  UN-SPIDER will be organizing a pre-conference meeting on August 26 and will be providing funding support for experts from the disaster management community to attend this meeting as well as the conference. Further information can be obtained by e-mail: or from the conference website:

(9) World Climate Conference – Geneva, Switzerland: 31 August to 4 September 2009

Organizers: World Meteorological Organization and the World Climate Program.  This conference is arranged around a theme of climate prediction and information for decision making.  It intends to develop an international framework to guide the creation of climate services linking scientific predictions with risk management and adaptation.  For more information, please visit:

(10) 18th Regional Training Course on Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) – Bangkok, Thailand: 31 Aug – 11 Sept 2009

Organizer: Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC).  The CBDRR course provides an opportunity for practitioners to learn essential skills and knowledge in community-based disaster risk management to address implementation challenges in a systematic manner. CBDRR participants acquire tools and obtain knowledge on how to design and implement programs for reducing disaster risks and vulnerability and building community capacity to promote a "culture of safety." For inquiries, send email to

(11) 10th International Conference on Structural Safety and Reliability – Osaka, Japan: September 13-17, 2009

Organizers: International Association for Structural Safety and Reliability.  This conference provides the opportunity for scientists and engineers to share knowledge, experience, and information on structural safety and reliability. Special emphasis will be placed on advanced technologies, analytical and computational methods of risk analysis, damage assessment, social aspects, and urban planning.

D. Useful Resources

(12) World Health Statistics 2009, WHO

WHO published its annual compilation of data from its 193 Member States, and includes a summary of progress towards the health-related Millennium Development Goals and targets.  The edition contains a new section on reported cases of selected infectious diseases.  To download the report, available in all UN languages,
go to:

(13) Nepal: Political and Economic Update, ADB, 2009 

(14) Cultural Competency for Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Response

Disasters create culturally diverse victims and now U.S. Health and Human Services is offering a program for disaster responders to deal with them in a culturally competent way. The Cultural Competency Curriculum for Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Response is a free, four-part online course that equips workers with the awareness and skills to provide culturally appropriate service during disasters. Access the course here:

(15) This month in Asia’s disaster history

This July, the Philippines commemorated National Disaster Preparedness Month.  The date was chosen because of the North Luzon earthquake on July 16, 1990.  It was one of the strongest and most destructive earthquakes to hit the Philippines with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale. The epicenter of the event was located at 15º 42' N and 121º 7' E, near the town of Rizal, Nueva Ecija province, at a depth of 28 km. This major earthquake was accompanied by other destructive geologic processes – surface faulting, liquefaction, landslides and debris flows.  It resulted in a death toll of 1283, 2786 people injured and 321.   Actual damages exceeded PhP 18.7.  The earthquake produced a 125 km-long ground rupture that essentially followed the pre-earthquake active fault trace.  The earthquake caused major damage for three major cities clustered around the epicenter – Baguio, Cabanatuan and Dagupan.  The strength of the earthquake and widespread nature of the damage to infrastructure resulted in an initial slow rescue and relief effort.  Baguio was isolated for a few days because the city was built over a mountain, and the earthquake had cut off access to it via its highways.  In the aftermath of the earthquake, a review was made of the role of the decentralized disaster coordination councils and prompted improvement of the Philippine’s systematic disaster preparedness and mitigation measures.  Learn more about the earthquake and organizational disaster preparedness here:

  Related links for this page
  Issues by Month

Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun,
Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun,
Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun,
Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov,

Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun,
Jul, Aug, Se
Oct, Nov, Dec

Jan, Feb, Mar , Apr, May, Jun,
Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

  Copyright © 2006 ADPC. All rights reserved.