Central Sulawesi Earthquake & Tsunami: Humanitarian Country Team Situation Report #7 (as of 6 November 2018)

Situation Report
Originally published


  • 2,087 people dead (BNPB)

  • 1,084 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


  • Following the earthquake and tsunami on 28 September, and resulting liquefaction and landslides, 2,087 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 1,084 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 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.

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, 2,087 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 1,084 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 period in Central Sulawesi ended on 26 October. While the Government-led response is transitioning into the recovery and reconstruction phase, the focus will also remain on covering humanitarian needs and addressing complex challenges. The coordination structures at the provincial level are being further strengthened with increased capacity from Government line ministries to support inter-cluster coordination under the leadership of the Provincial Secretary (SEKDA). The local government is also responsible to lead recovery and reconstruction efforts with continued national support from BNPB, key line ministries and member agencies of the early recovery cluster. A Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) is to start on 12 November. The PDNA will provide baseline data for a recovery action plan (Renaksi). The Renaksi will be coordinated with, and aligned to, the master plan for Palu City currently developed by the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) with support from JICA, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the World Bank.

Six weeks after the disaster, 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. More than 211,000 people who have lost their homes or sought refuge in safer areas remain displaced across Donggala, Sigi and Palu. In addition, almost 20,000 people have reportedly left Central Sulawesi, and thousands more are staying in tents close to their destroyed homes or with host families. The livelihoods of tens of thousands of people have been destroyed or affected.

The complex situation for displaced families will require flexible temporary and longer-term solutions and assistance 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.

Partners in the cash-based assistance (CBA) working group in Palu, led by the provincial office of the Ministry of Social Affairs with support by World Vision and Oxfam, have agreed to use the national social protection scheme – Program Keluarga Harapan – for the registration of beneficiaries and delivery of assistance. A joint market assessment in mid-November will inform the design of CBA programmes and feed into the PDNA.

Strengthened community engagement, particularly with displaced persons and vulnerable groups, will be essential in the coming weeks. To ensure accountability to affected populations, a Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) network, co-chaired by UNICEF and UNFPA, was formed with some 23 participants, including UN agencies, NGOs and the Red Cross.

Six weeks after the disaster, the response has made significant progress in reaching and serving the people in need of assistance. Regional and international agencies continue to support national efforts and leadership. NGOs, the Red Cross and the UN are on the ground augmenting the national response.