Early Warnings for Volcanoes, Floods, Tsunamis, and Earthquakes
By Michael Aquino, About.com Guide
Image of Anak Krakatau © Mike Aquino, licensed to About.com.
Where natural disaster is concerned, forewarned is forearmed, especially in Southeast Asia. The region is a seismically active area, with hundreds of volcanoes (especially in the ring of fire centered around the Philippines and Indonesia) and flood-prone areas (the countries that surround the Mekong River come to mind). Typhoons regularly hit the Philippines and Vietnam in the latter half of the year.
So if you're planning to trek up that Indonesian volcano, you'd better be sure that nothing is rumbling underfoot; if you're thinking about walking around Hue's Royal Tombs, you better make sure that a typhoon doesn't have your vacation in its sights.
I put together a number of relevant RSS feeds on Google Reader. The feed list provides near-up-to-the-minute news on floods, earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, and typhoons in Southeast Asia. Read the list below to see if something's brewing close to where you are.
Disclaimer: The articles linked in the feed come from external news providers. We cannot accept any responsibility or liability for the content or availability of external news sources. Since the integration of content and the links is fully automatic, there is no manual checking of the contents. The copyright of the news is the property of their authors and / or external news providers.
Southeast Asia Weather Agencies to Watch
Most countries in Southeast Asia have their own meteorological agencies that oversee weather in their respective areas of responsibility. The list below provides links to each country's weather monitoring bodies; follow the news on the page that refers to your destination in Southeast Asia, before your trip and throughout its duration.
Indonesia: The Indonesia Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency tracks earthquakes and weather in Indonesia, a gargantuan task considering the size of the Indonesian archipelago. Geologically-active Indonesia has a good number of volcanoes and seismically active areas that can work in concert to ruin your vacation if you're not prepared. If you're in Bali, consult the Tsunami Ready website (www.tsunamiready.com) for info on hotels in Bali that have complied with tsunami precautions; the site also provides tips on listening to the island's tsunami warning system and how to escape.
Malaysia: The Malaysian Meteorological Department website tracks weather in Malaysia and some other parts of the region. Keep yourself posted on Malaysia's weather, which varies wildly between eastern and western halves of the nation; don't let the region's monsoons bother your Malaysia jaunt.
- Malaysian Meteorological Department (offsite)
Philippines: The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration watches the weather over the vast Philippine Area of Responsibility that spots tropical cyclones before they head over to Hong Kong, Japan, or Vietnam. (Malaysia and Indonesia are mostly below the typhoon belt, making them immune from tropical cyclones.) Philippines weather - particularly for typhoons - can affect the rest of Southeast and East Asia, so this site is worth monitoring. Fun fact: the Philippines has its own naming convention for storms moving into its area of responsibility.
Singapore: The Singapore Weather Information Portal provides weather information for the entirety of Singapore. The site provides an amazing amount of detail out of all proportion to the miniscule size of Singapore, which is only slightly larger than El Paso, Texas. (More on that Texan city here: Things to Do in El Paso, Texas.) We also have a page on Weather in Singapore for your reference.
- Singapore Weather Information Portal (offsite)
Thailand: the Thai Meteorological Department provides updated storm warnings, not just for the country, but for the rest of Southeast Asia as well. Thailand weather varies from north to south, so don't assume the weather is the same from one point of the country to the next.
- Thai Meteorological Department (offsite)
Vietnam: the Vietnam National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting site provides information on typhoons and other tropical storms threatening the Indochina region that covers Cambodia and Laos. As typhoons originate in the Pacific and move westward over the Philippines, Vietnam (the easternmost country in Southeast Asian Indochina) takes the first hit, so this site is worth watching even for visitors in Laos and Cambodia. Where Vietnam weather goes, so may the rest of Indochina.