Directory >> /v2007/programs/udrm/promise/INFORMATION RESOURCES/Monthly-Enews/2006/Dec/December2006.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 December 2006                                
Issue No. 42

The Program for Hydro-meteorological Disaster Mitigation in Secondary Cities in Asia (PROMISE), funded by USAID/OFDA, commenced from October 2005. Through consultations with a number of ADPC partners, five project countries have been selected Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam for implementing demonstration projects in each country in a highly vulnerable city with recent history of hydro-meteorological disasters. Other components of the program consist of capacity building, risk management advocacy, networking and dissemination initiatives in the selected countries. 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. The planning and development of city interventions and of training programs to be delivered in each country by the PROMISE partners should be the main focus from October to December 2006.

PROGRAM ACTIVITIES for December and January 2007:

  • BANGLADESH - BDPC conducted five training workshops for Change Agents/volunteers in wards 39 (Halishahar), 16 (Chok Bazar), 9 (North Pahartoli), 8 (Sholokbahar) and 37(North middle Halishahar). The trainings were on various disaster issues, tools and methodologies for conducting community risk assessment, community-based disaster risk reduction planning and preparedness activities, and roles and responsibilities of CAs/volunteers. The trainings were inaugurated by the Ward Commissioners of ward 39 and ward 8. Community risk assessments were conducted by residents in wards 16, 9, 39, 37 and 8, for identifying hazard, vulnerability, capacity and risk of the community. The communities assessed the elements at risk, identified the community resources, and marked the most vulnerable location exposed to hazard by using the following tools: Hazard and resource mapping, Livelihood matrix, Hazard matrix, Seasonal calendar and time line, and the social Venn Diagram. During the assessment, the trained CAs/Volunteers played a vital role in using the tools. Some trained volunteers acted as facilitators in conducting CRA. Hazard mapping was conducted in the same five wards. Finally, six communities were selected to have mitigation and risk reduction projects. The communities are: South Potenga, ward # 41; North Potenga, ward #40; North Middle Halishahar, ward #37; South Katroli, ward #11; Sholokbahar, ward no. 8; and North Pahartoli, ward #9. An inventory of community-based organizations was made by youth volunteers in the selected wards. Next month, the project will focus on developing IEC materials: flipchart, pocket calendar and annual calendar. The flipchart will contain family level disaster preparedness related information and the pocket calendar will focus key information on disaster mitigation and preparedness.

  • PAKISTAN - AKPBS,P completed the hazard and vulnerability study based on basic participatory tools such as community mapping, seasonal calendar, transect walk, and a baseline survey which was based on semi structured questioners, interviews and interaction with community. GIS maps were prepared of the project sites. Meetings with the Taluka Nazim (Administrator) and Naib Nazim (Deputy Administrator) of Latifabad, with the Director General Water and Sanitation Authority of Hyderabad, and with media representatives. The purpose of these meetings was to share the progress of the program with representatives of Local Government and ensure participation of representatives in the community workshop and hazard and vulnerability assessment study.

  • PHILIPPINES - CDP and Dagupan City's Technical Working Group (TWG) conducted a writeshop last 29-30th of November to discuss, agree upon, and finalize the Early Warning and Evacuation Plan. It was attended by the TWG and facilitated by Ms. Mayfourth Luneta. The writeshop resulted in the first draft of the Early Warning and Evacuation Plan. Though final editing is still needed, the major work of putting the components together was done. Next month, the plan will be presented to the eight pilot communities for feedback.
    The TWG and CDP reviewed the proposals on community-based disaster mitigation submitted by the eight pilot communities, and purchased the equipment requirements of the plans. The equipments include: bamboo rafts, road guides (so people will not fall in open canals during floods, indigenous warning devices (kalungkong), two way radios, camera, petromax, farm tractor, life vests, and others. The equipments vary from one community to another depending upon their needs. Every community has their own counterpart, like the labor for building markers and road guides, and providing batteries for the flashlights and storage. The communities were also required to submit guidelines on the use, safekeeping and maintainance. The equipping of the BDCC is to help them in preparedness and in emergency to lessen the vulnerabilities ofthe community as well as the BDCC.
    Ms. Mayfourth Luneta of CDP presented a paper on Child-Oriented Participatory Risk Assessment and Planning at the Pro Vention Consortium co-hosted by ADPC on December 6 and 7. The presentation included the PROMISE Philippines experience in using the risk assessment done by the children in the pilot communities.
    Activities for next month are: launching of the community-based mitigation projects in the eight pilot barangays; launching of the Calendar that feature the winning posters and slogans from the July 16 Disaster Preparedness celebration; finalization of Disaster Information Management System proposal; and continuous planning and public awareness-raising.

  • SRI LANKA - Sarvodaya organized the Disaster Safety Day commemoration on 26th December at Kalutara, to coincide with the National Disaster Safety Day. The event included a morning seminar, a rally, and religious ceremonies at the Buddhist shrine at Kalutara. There was an exhibition organized at the Kalutara city hall in collaboration with the District Secretaries office, Kalutara UC, Red Cross, Disaster Management Center (Kalutara District Coordinating Office), Green movement and other NGOs. Sarvodaya also arranged a visit for ADPC representatives to the Kalutara city demonstration project target communities on December 27, to see the progress of the hazard and vulnerability mapping.

  • VIET NAM - CECI conducted a series of workshops on safer construction techniques in Danang in response to the devastation from typhoon Xangsane. The first workshop was on "Construction Techniques Resistant to Natural Disasters", held November 29. In attendance were more than 60 participants from city-level government departments and professionals involved mostly in urban planning and building construction. The objective was to introduce PROMISE-Vietnam's proposed housing reconstruction projects, and to seek their support and feedback. More than 60 participants attended the workshop. Resource persons came from Danang City government: Urban Planning Department, Climate Change Department, Construction Department; other resource persons came from ADPC, CECI and other organizations. The presentations emphasized strategic approaches to mitigating disaster risk from typhoons and floods, such as strict regulation of private construction, raising land for building urban settlements, promoting residential apartments that use up less land and are more resistant to typhoons and floods, and recognizing the relationship of climate change with the possibility of disasters. Presentations were made on the principles of safer building construction to mitigate disasters, and several housing models were presented to and reviewed by participants, including CECI's proposed "Reinforcing and Construction of Local Housing Models". The workshop was aired on a local channel that evening.
    The second workshop was a two-day training on typhoon- and flood-resistant construction, held November 30 to December 1. The purpose was to train 18 local builders and contractors who might be involved in CECI's housing reconstruction projects. Training methods included presentations of principles, field visits to train participants to identify examples of well-built and poorly-built housing, and group exercises to apply the principles. Resource persons gave helpful comments on how to improve the models that the participants developed during group exercises.
    Other activities for the month included developing a booklet on flood- and typhoon-resistant house construction and a calendar for disseminating safe building techniques .


The phase I activities under PROMISE are city demonstration projects in the five countries. The partners, city governments and communities have been focusing on hazard, vulnerability and risk assessment. The partner agencies have carried out the assessment using various tools that were shared in training workshops with city officials and communities. The following photos are samples of the community maps produced. Top row, (left to right): Bacayao Norte, Dagupan; Desathra-Western, Sri Lanka. Bottom row (left to right): So Do Phuang Hoa Xuan, Viet Nam; Ward 41, Chittagong, Bangladesh; Union Council 13, Hyderabad, Pakistan.

click on image to enlarge.


(1) Supertyphoon Durian hits the Philippines, 30 November 2006

(based on reports from the Philipipine Daily Inquirer, IFRC, USAID/OFDA and NDCC)

As of 11 p.m. Nov. 29, the supertyphoon (local name Reming) was 190 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes, with maximum sustained winds of 195 km per hour and gusts of up to 230 kph. It was expected to unleash strong rain and winds and possible storm surges upon landfall. It was moving west northwest at 17 kph, and more than 25 provinces and Metro Manila were placed under storm alerts. Classes were suspended at all levels in these affected areas. For three hours, walls of mud roard down from Mt. Mayon, burying houses up to their rooftops, and rocks "as big as cars" tumbled down. By the time it left, thousands of families were affected.
Loss of life was minimized because of the forced evacuation order in landslide-prone areas of Camarines Sur province enforced two days before the typhoon hit, but the damage to properties and government facilities is much higher than from typhoon Xangsane.
The Philippine National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) put the death toll at 425, the injured at 507 and missing at 599, and about 140,000 families badly affected. The damage assessment listed 39,955 houses destroyed and 108,945 houses damaged. The typhoon knocked out power and communication lines in many parts of Bicol Region and Southern Tagalog Region.
The international community has responded to the disaster. Pope Benedict XVI expressed sadness over the disaster and was praying for strength and comfort for the families of the deceased and for rescue workers.
U.S. Ambassador Kenney issued a disaster declaration on Dec. 4, and the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is providing USD 250,000 to the Philippine National Red Cross Society and other humanitarian organizations working in the affected area. This assistance is to support relief commodities, basic livelihood assistance, road clearing and debris removal. In addition, USAID is airlifting relief commodities valued at USD 130,000 for approximately 7,000 families in the Philippines.
The Canadian government pledged CAD 1,000,000; half is coursed through the IFRC and the other half through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) released an initial emergency assistance of 100,000 Swiss Francs from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund. The Netherlands Red Cross pledged 40,000 Euros.
The IFRC modified international appeal issued on Dec. 20 noted that a series of strong typhoons that battered the Philippines in only ten weeks. These typhoons caused extensive damage over a wide-spread area covering 62 of the country's 79 provinces, of which 5 were affected by more than one typhoon. The typhoons referred to are Xangsane (Sept. 25 to Oct. 1, gusts of 185 kph), Cimaron (Oct. 27 to 29), Chebi (Nov. 12), Durian (Nov. 30) and Utor (Dec. 10).

(2) Typhoon Durian hits Viet Nam, 5 December 2006

(based on reports from the CCFSC, IFRC, and USAID/OFDA)

On December 5, Typhoon Durian struck southern Vietnam, causing severe damage to coastal areas, collapsing houses, damaging infrastructure, and flooding schools. The provinces of Ba Ria Vung Tau, Ben Tre, Binh Thuan, Vinh Long, and Tien Giang were most affected by the storm.
The typhoon left 73 people dead, 16 missing, injured 1730 persons, and severely affected a large number of residents. Early preparation and evacuation efforts reduced the loss of life. The typhoon caused an estimated USD 22 million in damages, and destroyed about 35,000 houses, damaged about 182,000 houses, damaged 767 school rooms and sank 813 ships.
U.S. Ambassador Marine issued a disaster declaration on Dec. 5, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced that it will provide $100,000 in support of the Viet Nam Red Cross for emergency relief supplies to the areas most affected by the typhoon.


(3) Call for Student Abstracts

UCLA invites abstracts from students for a poster session at the 6th UCLA Conference on Public Health and Disasters. To be eligible for consideration, poster abstracts are to be authored solely by students and must be submitted either electronically or by fax no later than April 2, 2007. The conference will be on May 6-9, 2007 in Torrance, California. This multidisciplinary conference will bring together academicians, researchers, practitioners, and policy makers from public health, mental health, community disaster preparedness and response, social sciences, government, media, and nongovernmental organizations to address the public health consequences of natural and intentional disasters. For more details, please contact Chara Burnstein, UCLA CPHD; (310) 794-0864;;


(4) The World Disaster Response Summit-Atlanta, Georgia: January 23, 2007

Organizers: : Equity International. Suggested attendees at this international event include individuals active in Katrina reconstruction, disaster housing, temporary structures, emergency communications, emergency command and control, aerial surveillance, satellite imagery, emergency health, emergency food distribution, water purification, hurricane preparedness, pandemic flu preparedness, biodefense, earthquake preparedness, tsunami preparedness, facility security, business continuity, risk management, disaster management, and other areas of disaster preparedness and response. Learn more at

(5) Second Alexander von Humboldt International Conference: The Role of Geophysics in Natural Disaster Prevention-Lima, Peru: March 5-9, 2007

Sponsors: European Geophysical Union (EGU) and Geophysical Institute of Peru. This conference will focus on volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, avalanches, and extreme climate and/or meteorological events. To learn more, contact Peter Fabian, EGU; +49 8161 714740 (Germany);;

(6) The 100th CIG Annual Conference and 3rd International Symposium on Geo-information for Disaster Management - Toronto, Canada: May 23-25, 2007

Organizers: Canadian Institute of Geomatics (CIG). The Joint CIG/ISPRS Conference on Geomatics for Disaster and Risk Management will concentrate on geomatics technologies (satellite positioning, remote sensing, GIS, geodetic and hydrographic surveying). For more information, please visit:



(7) IASC Humanitarian Early Warning Service - HEWSweb

The IASC Humanitarian Early Warning Service (HEWSweb) is an inter-agency partnership project aimed at establishing a common platform for humanitarian early warnings and forecasts for natural hazards and socio-political developments worldwide. The main objective of HEWSweb is to bring together and make accessible in a simple manner the most credible early warning information available at the global level from multiple specialized institutions.
The HEWSweb service has dedicated pages for each type of hazard (see top navigation bar). This includes dedicated pages for drought, floods, storms, locust, volcanoes, earthquakes, weather, El Nino, other hazards and socio political developments. Although HEWSweb currently covers mainly natural disasters, its next development phase (6-9 months) will allow for the consolidation and further enhancement of such as well as for the development of the socio-political pages. The page can be found at:

(8) "What the Rapanos-Carabell Wetlands Decisions Mean to Floodplain and Stormwater Managers" by Thomas

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in a case known as Rapanos-Carabell that involves the geographic extent of the area which the federal government may regulate as "wetlands" under the Clean Water Act of 1972. This paper from the Association of State Floodplain Managers explores the decision and what it means for floodplain and stormwater management. The issue can also be explored in terms of decentralization and determining what is the appropriate level of government that should regulate wetlands. The report can be found here:

(9) "A Legal Analysis of Emergency Powers Granted in Mississippi Law Regarding Pandemics and Bioterrorism"

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, many states have reviewed their public health laws to determine whether they could respond effectively to public health emergencies. This report (35 pp.) is the result of a review of Mississippi's laws that determined that some incremental changes should be made regarding emergency public health powers. The report can be found 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.