Central Sulawesi Earthquake & Tsunami: Humanitarian Country Team Situation Report #6 (as of 30 October 2018)



  • 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 people are displaced across Central Sulawesi. Thousands more have left the province, or found refuge with host families.

  • The official emergency period in Central Sulawesi ended on 26 October.

  • The government-led response continues to cover humanitarian needs while progressively transitioning into the recovery and reconstruction phase.

  • International NGOs, the Red Cross and the UN are supporting the Government’s priorities and efforts.

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

2,081 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 30 October, 2,081 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.

The official emergency response period in Central Sulawesi ended on 26 October. While the Government-led response will now progressively transition into the recovery and reconstruction phase, the focus will also remain on covering humanitarian needs and addressing complex challenges.
Priority needs, based on the HFI-led Joint Needs Assessment (JNA), the Displacement Tracking Matrix (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.

More than 211,000 people who have lost their homes or sought refuge in safer areas remain displaced in more than 900 formal and informal camp sites across the affected districts of Donggala, Sigi and Palu. In addition, almost 20,000 people have reportedly left Central Sulawesi, and thousands more are staying in makeshift tents close to their destroyed homes, or have found refuge with host families. The livelihoods of tens of thousands of people in fisheries, agriculture and other forms of employment have been destroyed or affected. The JNA found that nearly half of the surveyed population face food shortages.

The complex situation of the displaced families will require flexible temporary and longer-term solutions and assistance delivery adapted to the specific needs of different situations and communities. Technical assessments and hazard mapping of tsunami, landslide or ’fault-line’ areas are ongoing and will have to guide returns and potential relocations. Families unable to return to their land or villages because of safety concerns may opt for relocation. The majority, staying close to their destroyed or damaged homes, in temporary shelters or with host families, will require continued on-site assistance and recovery and reconstruction support.

Strengthened community engagement, particularly with displaced persons, will be essential in the coming weeks to fully inform affected families on available services and assistance, receive feedback and information on their intentions and preferable solutions, and ensure meeting their specific needs, including vulnerable groups.

One month after the disaster, the response has made significant progress in reaching and serving the people in need of assistance. The international community continues to support national 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.