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Security Brief: EMH2 Week of December 13, 2021

Week of Monday, December 13, 2021 | Issue 40

Alyssa Schmidt, Emergency Management, Health, and Hazards Team


Aftermath of Typhoon Rai on Mactan Island, Philippines[1]


Date: December 17, 2021

Location: Osaka, Japan

Parties involved: Osaka firefighters; Japan Government; Osaka police department; Businesses in the building; Osaka rescue teams; Osaka emergency medical services

The event: Around 1020 local time, a fire occurred in a commercial building consisting of a medical ward, cafe, and clothing store.[2] There have been at least 24 fatalities from this incident.[3] The Osaka police have identified the individual, who is suspected of arson and is being investigated.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The commercial building consisted of a medical clinic, which will likely result in many individuals lacking proper treatment or facilities until they are transferred or the building is rebuilt. This will likely impact the wellbeing of these individuals and make them more susceptible to other diseases until they are treated appropriately. It also consisted of a mental health clinic that was damaged which will likely create difficulties if individuals are unable to find a similar office.

  • Increasing COVID-19 cases and new variants will likely create difficulties in acquiring treatment for individuals suffering with smoke inhalation and any injuries from the fire. Hospitals are almost certainly overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients which will likely cause individuals to be prioritized based on severity. If these people are not examined by a medical professional, they will likely put off treatment which could lead to future medical complications.

  • The businesses in the building will likely be impacted financially while the damages are being assessed and repaired. It is very likely that reparations may be delayed due to the holiday season and resources that need to be acquired. Business owners and employees will likely have to find other financial funds until the building is safe.

Date: December 18, 2021

Location: Philippines

Parties involved: Citizens of the Philippines; Dinagat Islands governor, Arlene Bag-ao; Governor of Bohol province, Arthur Yap; Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte; Philippines Emergency Services; Philippine army; The International Federation of Red Cross; Red Crescent Societies; The Philippines Red Cross

The event: Typhoon Rai hit the Philippines causing destruction and at least 375 fatalities and 56 missing individuals.[5] Electricity and communication have been down due to damaged power lines and flooding.[6] At least 490,000 individuals have been displaced.[7] Travel from outside countries has been stopped due to the inclement weather.[8]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Damaged communications equipment will likely impact emergency services as they will be unable to receive emergency calls. The damaged roads will very likely slow response times and negatively impact individuals seeking safety. As a result, individuals will very likely not be able to access medical care, which could result in increasingly serious injuries or death.

  • The typhoon has left many individuals without necessities which will likely lead to a humanitarian crisis once the remaining resources have been depleted. The delay in travel from outside countries will likely impact accessibility of several resources. The Philippines will likely need to seek assistance from nearby countries or humanitarian organizations to ensure that a famine does not occur.

  • Many tourist attractions have been ruined from the typhoon, which will likely impact the financial state of the country. If less individuals are traveling to the area, it is almost certain that the Philippines will not make as much money as previous years. This will likely limit their availability to resources and will likely lead to terrorist activity to cope with financial instability.

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[1]Aftermath of Typhoon Rai on Mactan island” by Martin Michlmayr licensed under Creative Commons

[2] 24 confirmed dead in suspected case of arson in Osaka, Japan Times, December 2021, https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/12/17/national/osaka-building-fire/

[3] 24 people died in a building fire in Osaka, Japan, and arson is suspected, NPR, December 2021, https://www.npr.org/2021/12/17/1065085132/more-than-20-feared-dead-in-building-fire-in-osaka-japan

[4] Police Identify Suspect in Arson Fire That Killed 24 in Japan, The New York Times, December 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/18/world/asia/japan-fire-osaka-arson.html

[5] ‘Complete carnage’: Hundreds dead in typhoon-hit Philippines, Al Jazeera, December 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/12/20/complete-carnage-hundreds-dead-in-typhoon-hit-philippines

[6] Philippines reports dozens more deaths from Typhoon Rai, Reuters, December 2021, https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/typhoon-death-toll-philippines-bohol-province-hits-49-provincial-governor-2021-12-19/

[7] ‘Complete carnage’: Hundreds dead in typhoon-hit Philippines, Al Jazeera, December 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/12/20/complete-carnage-hundreds-dead-in-typhoon-hit-philippines

[8] 'Super typhoon' Rai claims at least 208 lives, leaving devastation behind, EuroNews, December 2021, https://www.euronews.com/2021/12/18/at-least-12-dead-in-philippines-as-typhoon-rai-hits-southeast-asian-archipelago

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