Development environment

Internal Displacement Update
Issue 28: 16 November - 13 December 2017

Issue 28 map
Feature

United States

Affected areas

California (Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Ventura Counties)

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

More than 200,000 new displacements between 4 and 8 December

Context

More than 200,000 people were under mandatory evacuation between 4 and 8 December due to seven large fires in Southern California, the largest being Thomas, Creek, Rye, Skirball and Lilac wildfires (FEMA, 8 Dec 2017). As of 11 December, around 930 square kilometers of land was burned, 790 structures were destroyed and 191 structures were reportedly damaged according to the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection (CAL FIRE, 10 Dec 2017; BBC, 11 Dec 2017). According to local media, the Thomas wildfire has become the fifth-largest wildfire in the history of modern California (Los Angeles Times, 10 Dec 2017). Surging winds were  allowing the fires to spread rapidly and were hindering firefighting efforts as of 15 December. Officials are anticipating that these fires will not reach full containment until January (KTLA 5, 15 Dec 2017). 

East Asia and Pacific

Indonesia

Affected areas

Aceh, Bali, Central Java, East Java, Lombok and North Sumatra

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

More than 102,000 new displacements between 25 November and 13 December

Context

More than 71,000 people have been evacuated to shelters on the island of Bali between 25 November and 13 December due to the eruption of Mount Agung on 25 November. Significant release of magmatic gases and increased volcanic earthquake activity was still happening as of 13 December. A mandatory evacuation of 100,000 people was issued by the Indonesian government on 27 November (BNPB, 13 Dec 2017; ECHO, 27 Nov 2017; ECHO, 28 Nov 2017).

More than 15,000 people were displaced between 2 and 5 December following flooding due to the overflow of rivers in North Aceh regency, Aceh (AHA Centre, 5 Dec 2017).

As many as 15,000 people were displaced in Central and East Java between 27 and 29 November due to floods, landslides and tornadoes caused by Tropical Cyclone Cempaka. This included more than 4,000 people who were evacuated in Pacitan regency in East Java province, and 2,000 people evacuated in Wonogiri regency in Central Java province due to flooding (BNPB, 28 Nov 2017; Jakarta Post, 29 Nov 2017; AHA Centre, 4 Dec 2017).

Around 460 people were displaced in East Lombok regency, Lombok, on 18 November because of flash floods that heavily damaged homes (BNPB, 19 Nov 2017). Around 760 people were evacuated in North Nias in North Sumatra province on 21 November due to a 5.3 magnitude earthquake that struck the area and caused housing damage and destruction (BNPB, 21 Nov 2017). More than 100 people were evacuated in the Sidoarjo area of East Java on 22 November following a tornado that caused housing damage and destruction. Most of them  were evacuated to an elementary school, while others left to stay with family members. By 23 November some of the evacuees were reported to have returned home (Reuters, 23 Nov 2017; BNPB, 23 Nov 2017).

Myanmar

Affected areas

Chin state, Rakhine state

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

As many as 900 new displacements between 1 and 18 November

Context

As many as 900 people were displaced in Paletwa township, Chin state and Buthidaung township, Rakhine state, between 1 and 18 November due to fighting between the Arakan Army (AA), an ethnic armed group operating in the area, and the Myanmar army (The Irrawaddy, 21 Nov 2017; Mizzima 21 Nov 2017). The Irrawaddy reported that fighting involved helicopter attacks by the Myanmar army, with about 2,000 people fleeing across the border to India as a result of the fighting. (The Irrawaddy, 30 Nov 2017). Paletwa has been a staging area for the AA’s operations since fighting with the Myanmar army escalated in 2015.

Philippines

Affected areas

South Cotabato, Surigao del Sur

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

Around 2,600 new displacements between 25 November and 7 December

Context

As many as 1,900 people were displaced in Lianga, Surigao del Sur, between 25 November and 7 December following an attack on the community by an unidentified armed group (DROMIC, 7 Dec 2017). According to reports, the military has been blocking access to the evacuation centre, not allowing relief goods to reach people in need (PhilStar, 1 Dec 2017).

As many as 740 people were displaced in South Cotabato between 3 and 7 December due to clashes between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and an alleged group of the New People’s Army  (DROMIC, 7 Dec 2017). 

Thailand

Affected areas

Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Pattani, Phattalung, Prachuap Kiri Khan, Songkla, Surat Thani

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

Around 36,000 new displacements between 21 November and 11 December

Context

Around 35,000 people were displaced primarily in Trang province but also in the provinces of Narathiwat, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Songkla, Pattani, Surat Thani and Phattalung between 25 November and 11 December due to overflowing rivers and flash flooding. In certain areas, entire communities have been inundated and residents fear the waters will remain for weeks (Floodlist, 30 Nov 2017; Khao Sod, 1 Dec 2017; AHA Centre, 3 Dec 2017; National News Bureau of Thailand, 3 Dec 2017; The Nation, 3 Dec 2017; Bangkok Post, 6 Dec 2017; Bangkok Post, 6 Dec 2017; Straits Times, 7 Dec 2017; Disaster Prevention and Management, 12 Dec 2017). 

About 960 people were evacuated in Prachuap Khiri Khan province on 21 November after a downpour flooded the resort town of Hua Hin (Bangkok Post, 21 Nov 2017).

Vietnam

Affected areas

Dac Lac, Khanh Hoa, Lam Dong and Ninh Thuan

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

About 26,000 new displacements between the 19 and 21 November

Context

About 26,000 people were evacuated between 19 and 21 November in Dong Thap, Vinh Long, Bình Dương, An Giang and Thua Tien Hue as result of housing destruction caused by Tropical Storm Kirogi that made landfall on 19 November (Floodlist, 22 Nov 2017). Of those displaced, the vast majority, 25,000 people, have been displaced due to flooding damage to their homes while the rest have had their homes or roofs collapse (Vietnam Disaster Management Authority, 21 Nov 2017).

Europe and Central Asia

Albania

Affected areas

Armen, Divjakë, Fier, Novosolë, Topojë, Vlore

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

About 3,500 new displacements between 1 and 4 December

Context

About 3,500 people were evacuated from their homes in Armen, Divjakë, Fier, Novosolë, Topojë and Vlore as torrential rains caused severe flooding between 1 and 4 December (ECHO, 4 Dec 2017; ECHO, 12 Dec 2017).

Latin America and the Caribbean

Haiti

Affected areas

Les Cayes, Sud Department

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

About 42,000 new displacements between the 14 and 16 November

Context

About 42,000 people were displaced primarily in the city and areas of Les Cayes Arrondissement in Sud Department between 14 and 16 November due to strong rains and floods that inundated more than 10,000 houses (Floodlist, 19 Nov 2017).

Middle East and North Africa

Iraq

Affected areas

Anbar, Ninewa, Salah al Din

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 17,100 new displacements between 26 October and 28 November and more than 23,000 evictions and forced returns between 15 October and 28 November

Context

About 16,500 people were displaced within Anbar governorate and from Anbar to Salah Al Din and Ninewa governorates between 26 October and 18 November as the Iraqi army gained control of several towns in Anbar previously held by the Islamic State or Iraq and levant (ISIL). Another 600 people were displaced from a desert area between Anbar, Salah al Din, and Ninewa to Salah al Din and Ninewa between 23 and 28 November as the Iraqi army resumed anti-ISIL operations in the area (OCHA, 28 Nov 2017).

More than 23,000 people were evicted from camps or public and private property or forced to return primarily in Anbar and Salah al Din governorates between 15 October and 28 November after the government imposed a 15 November deadline for IDPs to return to selected areas in Shirqat and Baiji districts recently retaken from ISIL. The returnees often found their houses severely damaged or were not allowed to return due to perceived ISIL affiliations and ended up in secondary displacement (OCHA, 28 Nov 2017).

Iran

Affected areas

Kerman

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

More than 1,000 new displacements between 1 and 6 December

Context

More than 1,000 people were displaced between 1 and 6 December in the Hijdak district in Kerman province as a result of a 6.1 magnitude earthquake. They were sheltered in tents distributed by the Iranian Red Crescent (IRCS, 6 Dec 2017). This earthquake comes in the wake of a 7.3 magnitude earthquake that hit Iran on 12 November and displaced about 170,000 people in Kermanshah province (IRCS, 2 Dec 2017, email on file with IDMC).

South Asia

Afghanistan

Affected areas

Country-wide

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 47,000 new displacements between 20 November and 10 December; about 25,000 returns between 19 November and 9 December

Context

About 47,000 people were newly displaced countrywide but primarily in Nangarhar, Kunduz and Badghis provinces between 20 November and 10 December due to ongoing hostilities between non-state armed groups (NSAGs) and the government. (OCHA, 20 Nov 2017; OCHA, 27 Nov 2017; OCHA, 4 Dec 2017). Increased fightings in the areas controlled by NSAGs within Nangarhar’s Khogyani district has led to a huge number of displacements since the beginning of hostilities in mid-October. The majority of the displaced families (about 33,000 people) found shelter within Khogyani district, either with relatives or in the displacement sites of Sra Qala and Sardar Banda. Others sheltered in Behsud district or Jalalabad city, while the remaining people fled to Pachir Wa Agam and Surkh Rod districts (OCHA, 8 Dec 2017).

Additionally, the Border Monitoring Team of the Directorate of Refugees and Repatriation (DoRR) recorded voluntary and forced returns from Pakistan and Iran. Between 19 November and 9 December, about 1,100 returns and 24,000 returns were reported from Pakistan and Iran, respectively (IOM, 25 Nov 2017; IOM, 9 Dec 2017).

India

Affected areas

Tamil Nadu

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

At least 8,000 new displacements between 30 November and 6 December

Context

At least 8,000 people have been displaced in Kanyakumari district between 30 November and 6 December due to the damage caused by cyclone Ochki. An additional 2,800 houses have sustained partial damage which may lead to additional displacement (The Hindu, 6 Dec 2017).

Sri Lanka

Affected areas

Badulla, Kalutara, Kandy, Matale, Matara and Nuwaraeliya districts

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

About 4,400 new displacements between 29 November and 3 December

Context

About 4,400 people were displaced in the districts of Kalutara, Matara, Kandy, Nuwaraeliya, Badulla and Matale on 29 November due to heavy rains, high winds and floods caused by a tropical storm that later became Cyclone Ockhi when it approached India (Reuters, 13 Dec 2017; DMC, 3 Dec 2017).

Sub-Saharan Africa

Central African Republic

Affected areas

Haut-Kotto, Mambere-Kadei, Mbomou, Nana- Gribizi, Opuham-Pende, Ouaka

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 25,200 new displacements between 20 November and 4 December, about 3,300 returns between 1 April and 15 November

Context

In Mbomou prefecture, at least 13,000 people were displaced between 20 and 24 November when Dembia town was attacked by armed groups. Of these people, 10,000 have arrived in Rafai and another 3,000 fled Rafai preventively towards the MINUSCA base for fear of an imminent attack in Rafai (OCHA, 27 Nov 2017).

In Ouham-Pendé prefecture, 3,000 people were displaced from the town of Pende between 23 and 27 November due to reprisal attacks by an armed group after cattle theft. About half the town fled towards the town of Paoua while the rest fled into the bush (OCHA, 27 Nov 2017).

In Mambere-Kadei prefecture, almost 1,200 people, or the majority of the village of Libala, Gamboula sub prefecture, escaped into the bush and towards Gamboula between 24 and 27 November after a cattle theft led to reprisal attacks by an armed group (OCHA, 27 Nov 2017).

In Ouaka prefecture, a mass exodus of at least 8,000 people was reported in Ippy between 3 and 10 December due to confrontations between armed groups. An unspecified number of IDPs escaped to the catholic church, the CEBI church, and IDP site PK05 on the road to Bambari and 8,000 people were reported to have arrived in Maloum and other nearby villages (OCHA, 10 Dec 2017).

In Nana-Gribizi prefecture, as many as 3,300 people (570 households) returned to the villages of Botto 1, Botto 3, Balamba, Boguene, Koudouwesse, and Kologbo by 15 November due to the relative calm in the villages. This corresponds to 67% of the population who had left their homes after attacks by armed men in the villages of Zefio, Bokandij, Bolafe, and Mba in April 2017 (OCHA, 19 Nov 2017).

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Affected areas

Equateur, Haut-Katanga, Kwilu, Maniema, North Kivu, South Kivu, Tshopo

Cause of displacement

Disaster, conflict

Figures

About 4,600 new disaster displacements between 21 November and 4 December, about 89,000 new conflict displacements between November and 12 December

Context

More than 4,600 people were displaced in Bomongo, Equateur province, between 28 November and 4 December due to torrential rains (IFRC DMIS, 4 Dec 2017, on file with IDMC). As many as 10 people were displaced between 20 and 21 November by heavy rains and storm which affected Kikwit, Kwilu province (Radio Okapi, 21 Nov 2017). 

About 25,000 new displacements were recorded in South Kivu. Of those, about 17,000 people fled the town of Kilembwe and its surrounding areas, Fizi territory, on 19 November and 22 November due to clashes between armed groups and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) and the burning down of houses in the neighbouring Maimoto (OCHA, 28 Nov 2017). Another 5,000 people fled Lumanya village, Fizi territory, into the forest on 30 November as a result of clashes between armed groups and the FARDC (OCHA, 5 Dec 2017). About 2,200 people fled Kichula village, Fizi territory, South Kivu, on 5 December due to clashes between armed groups and the FARDC. About another 600 people in Kikwama were forced to flee for the same reason (OCHA, 12 Dec 2017).

In Maniema, about 18,000 people fled villages near Kayembe into the forest between 16 and 18 November due to clashes between armed groups and the FARDC (OCHA, 21 Nov 2017).

In North Kivu, more than 15,000 people were displaced in Bwiza zone, Lukala, Birii (Masisi territory) and Bihira to Kichanga zone, Pinga (Walikale territory) and temporary shelters in Butare and Tambi (Masisi territory), respectively, during the month of November due to clashes between armed actors and rising intercommunal tensions (OCHA, 4 Dec 2017). 

More than 30,000 people, in Opienge territory, Tshopo province, fled their homes between 30 November and 7 December due to clashes between the FARDC and Mayi-Mayi factions. Of these, 12,000 people had found shelter in Bafwasende territory, Tshopo province, and an unknown number of people were  sheltering in the forest as of 7 December (OCHA, 7 Dec 2017).

Additionally, in Haut-Katanga province, more than 1,000 people fled Lukonzolwa, Pweto territory, in the direction of Pweto town on 19 due to intercommunal violence (OCHA, 30 Nov 2017).

Somalia

Affected areas

Banadir, Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 13,000 new displacements between 1 and 27 November

Context

More than 10,000 people were displaced within Middle and Lower Shabelle to Mogadishu between 1 and 27 November due to intensified ground and aerial fighting between the Somali army, AMISOM and Al Shabaab (NRC, 27 Nov 2017). Many more people are believed to be in hiding or en route to safer locations (UNHCR, 23 Nov 2017). Similarly, as many as 3,000 people were displaced between 5 and 17 November in Banadir due to fighting between Al Shabaab and the army (UNHCR, 23 Nov 2017). These displaced families have arrived in already overcrowded IDP sites and are in urgent need of shelter, water, and food (NRC, 27 Nov 2017).

South Sudan

Affected areas

Jonglei state, Lakes state

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 14,800 new displacements between 28 November and 12 December

Context

About 13,000 people were displaced from Duk Payuel village in Duk County, Jonglei state, between 28 and 29 November as armed men attacked the village, killing 68 people, including six aid workers, and abducting 58 children (UNMISS, 5 Dec 2017; OCHA, 8 Dec 2017; UN OCHA, 29 Nov 2017). An additional 1,800 were displaced in Lakes state between 6 and 12 December due to inter-communal violence in which more than 170 people were killed and 342 houses were burnt down (Sudan Tribune, 13 Dec 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.