Central Sulawesi Earthquake & Tsunami: Humanitarian Country Team Situation Report #5 (as of 23 October 2018)

Situation Report
Originally published


This report is produced and issued by the Humanitarian Country Team in Indonesia. It covers the period from 20 to 23 October. The next report will be issued on or around 26 October.


  • Following the earthquake and tsunami on 28 September, and resulting liquefaction and landslides, 2,077 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 1,075 people are reported as missing.

  • More than 211,000 displaced people are staying in 980 settlements across Central Sulawesi.
    Thousands more have left Sulawesi or found refuge with host families.

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

  • The emergency response phase in Central Sulawesi is to end on 26 October. Reception of relief items will continue to be coordinated by BNPB.

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

2,077 People dead (BNPB)

1,075 People missing (BNPB)

211,000 Internally displaced (BNPB)

4,400 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 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 23 October, 2,077 people are known to have died. A further 4,400 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 1,075 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. Some 17,000 houses are heavily destroyed but the sites may allow for reconstruction. Around 35,000 families whose houses have been damaged need emergency shelter support for a shorter term. More detailed assessments will have to further confirm these estimates. BNPB puts the total cost of material damages at USD 910 million.

Thousands of families have lost their homes or sought refuge in safer areas. The results of the first round of the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) exercise tracked more than 211,000 displaced people – 60,400 families – staying in 254 villages and a total of 980 formal and informal camp sites across the three most affected districts.

The DTM recorded 82,891 displaced people in 289 sites in Donggala, 76,994 IDPs in 409 sites in Sigi, and 52,256 IDPs in 282 sites in Palu. The DTM also highlights key needs and gaps of the displaced population in the covered communities, helping to guide the multi-sectoral response as well as further sectoral assessments.

In addition to the people staying in the area, thousands of people have left Sulawesi, are staying in makeshift tents close to their destroyed homes or have found refuge with host families in villages and urban centres. A mechanism to capture their exact number is being developed.

The results of the DTM will also further inform needs-based decision making on temporary and longer-term shelter options, flexible and adaptive to the specific requirements of different situations and communities. Technical assessments and hazard mapping of tsunami, landslide or ’fault-line’ areas are ongoing and will have to guide potential returns.

Priority needs, based on the HFI-led Joint Needs Assessment (JNA), the DTM and other assessments, 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 with inadequate shelters, limited access to latrines and water and insufficient lightning, causing protection concerns. Sanitary conditions have significantly deteriorated since the disaster, with diarrhoea and skin infections on the rise, increased risk of communicable diseases and malaria. More than 1,500 class rooms have been damaged or destroyed. The JNA also found that nearly half of the surveyed population face food shortages.

The response is led by the Government of Indonesia, with strong support from national NGOs, including 15 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. After the closure of the air bridge from Balikpapan, scheduled on 26 October, the transport of relief items will continue to be coordinated by BNPB with arrangements to be confirmed this week.