Indonesia - Earthquake OCHA Situation Report No. 3

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 19 May 2000

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2000/0097
Indonesia - Earthquake
OCHA Situation Report No. 3
19 May 2000

Situation and damage

1. A succession of strong earthquakes shook the eastern part of the Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi on 14 and 15 May. This same province had been struck by an even more powerful earthquake, followed by a tsunami, on 4 May, and suffered heavy casualties in that earlier disaster. According to the United States Geological Survey, the strongest of the latest series of shocks occurred at 20.08 hrs GMT on 14 May, or 04.08 hrs local time on 15 May, and measured 6.2 on the Richter scale. No damage and/or victims have been reported as a result of these recent earthquakes.

2. The Banggai region, comprising the district of Banggai in eastern Sulawesi and the islands of Peleng and Banggai, was the worst affected by the former strong earthquake, measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale and the tsunami of 4 May. According to official data released by the government of the Banggai region on 13 May, 45 people lost their lives and 270 persons were injured, 54 of them seriously. The overall damage to private and public buildings, as well as to infrastructure in the affected area is as follows:

Banggai District
Banggai Islands
People killed
People seriously injured
People slightly injured
5,311 units
14,067 units
19,378 units
Government offices
296 units
241 units
537 units
Health Centres/Clinics
28 units
15 units
43 units
School buildings
220 units
255 units
475 units
166 units
183 units
349 units
11.29 km
278 km
289.29 km
19 units
24 units
43 units
Other (market places)
2 units
2 units
3. The electricity and telecommunications network has been badly damaged. Serious disruption of the telephone system impeded communication and therefore hindered coordination of relief assistance.

4. According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), an estimated 10,500 families have been left homeless. Several villages were completely submerged by the tidal wave, and all houses were destroyed. In other villages damage to housing has been between 10% and 60%.


5. According to the Indonesian Government, food needs are covered. Medical supplies are also available for at least 6 months. Water and sanitation are being addressed by the Indonesian Government and MSF France. In the meantime, transportation and communication are the chief obstacles faced by local governments.

6. According to the IFRC, the immediate needs are for plastic sheeting for shelter from the rain, sleeping mats, blankets, cooking utensils, water containers, clothes and soap.

National and Local Response

7. An Indonesian Government inter-departmental assessment mission took place from 13 to 14 May. The mission was led by the Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare and Poverty Alleviation/Chairman of Bakornas PB, with the participation of the Minister of Housing and Regional Development and representatives from other Ministries, as well as a United Nations representative. The aim of the mission to Luwuk, capital of the Banggai district and the Banggai Islands, was to survey the impact of the tremor and assess the needs of the affected population. The mission reported that the emergency needs have been covered by a combination of initiatives and actions undertaken by national and local authorities and institutions.

8. No request for international assistance during the emergency relief phase has been made. However, international assistance might be sought in the areas of transportation for food deliveries, communications equipment and medium and long-term rehabilitation and reconstruction of infrastructure (roads, telephone and electricity systems).

9. The Government is currently putting together a plan for reconstruction and rehabilitation and for community livelihood under the Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare and Poverty Alleviation.

10. The policy of the Government is to provide technical and financial assistance to the victims of the earthquake. Any engagement in activities that may lead to reliance on assistance will be avoided. Emphasis will be placed on preparedness activities, since the affected area is prone to earthquakes.

11. The central Government provided the following

  • Two navy ships functioning as a hospital and as a means of transporting relief workers and materials
  • Two medical teams, equipped with relevant pharmaceutical supplies
  • A geological team to provide people with clear and accurate information regarding the nature and characteristics of the earthquake
  • Volunteers to assist in the relief operation and the evacuation of victims
  • Cash funds, food, medical supplies, clothes, shelter materials, fuel and other support.

12. The Ministry of Housing and Regional Development has decided to allocate IDR 16 billion (USD 2.2 million) in long-term assistance for rehabilitating housing and transportation facilities.

13. On the day the earthquake occurred command posts (POSKOs) were set up at district and sub-district level. The POSKOs have taken on the tasks of collecting data, receiving contributions and assistance from various parties, and distributing food and medical relief. Rescue measures and medical assistance, the provision of temporary accommodation, the supply of safe water, and the repair of infrastructure were initiated by local authorities.

14. The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) has delivered 5 tons of rice as well as emergency medication to the affected areas.

International Response

15. The Government of Japan provided a speed boat for effective emergency transportation.

16. On 16 May the IFRC launched an Appeal for CHF 459,000 (approximately USD 280,000). According to the Appeal, the PMI plans to target 17,500 beneficiaries on the western coast of Banggai island and from Liang along the coast to Sambiut on Peleng island with shelter materials, blankets and sleeping mats, and household and cooking utensils. The IFRC has released CHF 1000,000 (USD 60,000) from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund.

17. OCHA is in close contact with the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Jakarta and will revert with further information if the situation warrants it.

18. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers: Ms. S. Metzner-Strack / Mr. R. Mueller / Mr. S. Matsuka, Direct Tel. +41-22-917 21 44 / 31 31 / 40 34

Press contact: (in GVA) Mr. Donato Kiniger-Passigli, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53 - (in N.Y.) Ms. Phyllis Lee, direct Tel. +1-212-963 48 32

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