Indonesia: Comprehensive Satellite Detected Building Damage Assessment Overview as of 19 October 2018

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On 28 September 2018, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake had it’s epicenter in Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province triggering a tsunami with waves upto 3 metres high and landslides that resulted in widespread damage and loss of lives. The earthquake occured less than two months after a series of earthquake in Indonesia’s Lombok island.

Some of the worst affected areas were Palu city with 300,000 residing in the Donggala regency. Around 50,000 people were displaced and atleast 844 casualties were reported. Vice-President Jusuf Kalla has estimated that the casualty rate could be in the thousands.

The International Charter for Space and Major Disasters was activated on 29 September 2018 by the Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) on behalf of National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN). UNITAR/UNOSAT products and geographic datasets are available at The geospatial analysis was performed based on satellite imagery data obtained from WorldView-2 (acquired on 01, 04 October 2018), Pleiades 1A/1B (acquired on 30 September and 02 October 2018) and WorldView-3 (acquired on 02 October 2018). Data sources from Open Street Map were used and it is important to note the presence of limitations in these data sources and that this assessment is not a field survey and should be treated with caution. This document is part of an on-going satellite monitoring program of UNITAR/UNOSAT for the Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami in support of international humanitarian assistance and created to respond to the needs of UN agencies and its partners.

UNITAR-UNOSAT provided overall satellite analysis coordination support for this event by regularly updating the GDACS Satellite Mapping and Coordination System platform (SMCS). An access link to the GDACS-SMCS platform was shared with all end-users to provide them with updated information about satellite acquisition and analysis plans including expected product delivery by different agencies or satellite mapping groups. In addition, due to the magnitude and widespread damage caused by the earthquake and tsunami, other agencies and satellite mapping groups such as COPERNICUS EMS, SERTIT and LAPAN also provided satellite imagery analysis support in order to analyze as many affected areas as possible. Findings and results of this comprehensive analysis are described in the present document.

As of 19 October 2018, a combined total of 42 maps were produced by UNITAR/UNOSAT, LAPAN, AIT, ITB, Copernicus EMS, SERTIT and Roscosmos.