Central Sulawesi Earthquake & Tsunami: Humanitarian Country Team Situation Report #4 (as of 19 October 2018)


This report is produced and issued by the Humanitarian Country Team in Indonesia. It covers the period from 17 to 19 October. The next report will be issued on or around 23 October.


  • Following the earthquake and tsunami on 28 September, and resulting liquefaction and landslides, 2,105 people are known to have died.
    Palu was the worst affected district, with over 1,700 people recorded killed in the city.

  • Search and rescue operations were stopped on 12 October. According to Indonesia’s national disaster management agency (BNPB), at least 680 people are reported as missing.

  • Ongoing assessments indicate that more than 200,000 people may have been displaced, and at least 110,000 people are staying in displacement sites.

  • The government-led response continues, with NGOs, the Red Cross and the UN supporting efforts in line with Government priorities.

  • The emergency response period has been extended by the Government until 26 October.

  • The HCT’s Response Plan, requesting US$ 50.5 million to provide assistance to 191,000 people, is funded at 26 per cent.

2,105 People dead (BNPB)

680 People missing (BNPB)

220,000 Internally displaced (BNPB)

4,600 People with major injuries (BNPB)

68,000 Houses damaged (BNPB)

191,000 Targeted by HCT Response Plan

Situation Overview

On 28 September, a series of strong earthquakes struck Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province, the strongest a 7.4M earthquake only 10 km deep and with its epicentre close to the provincial capital, Palu. The earthquake triggered a tsunami striking beaches in Palu and Donggala. The earthquakes, tsunami and resulting liquefaction and landslides caused significant damage and loss of life.

As of 16 October, 2,105 people are known to have died. A further 4,600 people have been seriously injured.

Search and rescue operations were stopped on 12 October. According to figures released by Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), at least 680 people have been reported missing.

Areas affected by the earthquake, tsunami, landslides and liquefaction suffered extensive damage of buildings and infrastructure. An estimated 15,000 houses and land have been totally devastated with no perspective of return. An estimated 17,000 houses are heavily destroyed but the sites may allow for reconstruction. Around 35,000 families whose houses have been severely damaged need emergency shelter support for a shorter term. More recent assessment data suggest that the figures may be higher.

Thousands of families have lost their homes or sought refuge in safer areas. Initial estimates of the number of people displaced by the disaster stood at around 80,000, but ongoing assessments point to a significantly higher number. The latest estimates by BNPB put the total figure as high as 220,000 people displaced in 122 localities across Central Sulawesi. The ongoing Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) exercise also indicates that more than 110,000 displaced people are staying in formal and informal camps site, without counting people staying with host families or having left the affected areas. The full results of the DTM will help inform the establishment and consolidation of sites, and discussions with the Government, donors and humanitarian partners are underway to launch a government-led mechanism to ensure sustainable tracking, identification, registration of, and assistance to the displaced population.

Many needs remain. Priorities include logistics and economic recovery, medical assistance, clean water, sanitation and hygiene, recovery of infrastructure and public services, shelter, protection, including women’s and children’s protection, and education. Debris and damaged structures need to be removed to reduce risk of further damage and accidents. Many IDP sites remain informal and overcrowded, with inadequate shelters, limited access to latrines and water and insufficient lightning, causing protection concerns. Sanitary conditions have significantly deteriorated since the disaster increasing risks of communicable diseases.

The response is led by the Government of Indonesia, with strong support from national NGOs, including 13 members of Humanitarian Forum Indonesia. The international community supports the government’s and national civil society and NGO efforts and leadership. NGOs, the Red Cross and the UN are on the ground augmenting the national response. BNPB has received international assistance from 15 countries, transported by air from Balikpapan to Palu, including generators, mobile power plants, heavy equipment trucks, medical equipment, aircraft spare parts, clean water equipment, sanitary equipment, public kitchens, family tents, food, and blankets.

After the ending of the air bridge from Balikpapan, scheduled on 26 October, the transport of relief items will continue to be coordinated by BNPB with arrangements for receipt of items to be confirmed early next week.