Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Timor-Leste Humanitarian Background

Disasters, Conflicts and Migration

Natural Disasters

Yes / No

Comments / Details


YesOne recorded drought, no additional details


YesRegular earthquakes, Timor-Leste being on the “Ring of Fire”. A recent Norwegian-led report indicated a major earthquake in TL is “long overdue”


Yes2005, 22 deaths, 336 people affected

Extreme Temperatures




June 2001; 2 deaths; 2,508 people affected

June 2003; 2 deaths; 600 people affected

December 2003; 450 people affected

February 2008: Major flooding Liquica, western corridor blocked for 6 days.

Insect Infestation

YesRegular Locust infestation in Maliana district, spread to other districts. Insect infested stored food is a concern in TL


YesRegular occurrence, especially during wet season. Re-forestation efforts ongoing but relatively ineffective.

Volcanic Eruptions


High Waves / Surges




High Winds

YesMarch 2006 (Baucau); 8730 people affected.

Other Comments

Floods happen regularly in Southern districts as well as Oecussi where people can be cut-off from aid for longer time.

There are no records for disasters prior to 2001 as Timor-Leste was internationally recognized in only 2002.

Man-Made Issues

Civil Strife

YesApril 2006; civil unrest, 40+ deaths, 20,000 IDPs

International Conflict

Yes1976 – 1999; conflict with Indonesian occupation, est.100 – 250,000 deaths. September 1999; militia retributions, 1,400 deaths and 300,000 East Timorese refugees in Indonesian West Timor.

Internally Displaced Persons

YesApril 2006; civil unrest, 150,000 IDPs, most returned home by mid 2009.

Refugees Present

YesSeptember 1999; 300,000 East Timorese refugees in Indonesian West Timor.

Landmines / UXO Present

YesUXO’s found regularly following widespread reconstruction of buildings in Dili and other major cities.

Other Comments


For more detailed database on disasters by country, please see the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters:

EMDAT information on Timor-Leste

Calamities and Seasonal Affects

Seasonal Affects on Transport



From (month) to (month)

Primary Road Transport

Flooding, landslides in wet seasonNov - Mar

Secondary Road Transport

Flooding, landslides in wet seasonNov - Mar

Rail Transport


Air Transport

Max Payload affected in wet season due to aircraft carrying additional fuelNov - Mar

Waterway Transport

No Seasonal affectsn/a

Seasonal Affects on Storage and Handling (economic, social, climate…)



From <month> to <month>


Pre-positioning of stocks in rural areas prior to the rainy season.

Jun - Oct


No Major Seasonal affects



No Major Seasonal affects



Capacity and Contacts for In-Country Emergency Response


The government of Timor-Leste has some established departments and mechanisms to deal with national disasters, these are under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Solidarity and include the National Department Management Directorate (NDMD) National Department of Social Assistance (DNAS), Disaster Operations Center (DOC), and the National Disaster Management Policy (NDMP).
The military and civil defense forces in Timor-Leste are formally a member of the District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) which is currently being established in every district. PNTL and FFDTL mainly provide security and communicative assistance whereas FFDTL also is capable to provide transport of relief items.
According to the National Disaster Risk Management Policy, the DOC and NDMD will rely on international organizations for logistics assistance.

For information on Timor-Leste government contact details, please see the following link: 

4.1 Timor-Leste Government Contact List

Humanitarian Community

The humanitarian community has been working closely with the Government of Timor-Leste assisting in the development of these structures.

For information on Timor-Leste humanitarian agency contact details, please see the following link: 

4.2 Timor-Leste Humanitarian Agency Contact List