Description of the disaster
On 28 September 2018, series of earthquakes struck Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province. The strongest was a 7.4 magnitude quake at a depth of 10km and with its epicentre close to the provincial capital, Palu. The series of earthquakes did not only trigger a tsunami striking beaches in Palu and Donggala, but also liquefaction in three major spots and landslides which resulted in damages, impacts and constrained access to humanitarian relief. According to Indonesian Meteorological and climatological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG), over 700 aftershocks have been experienced since then.
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. Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) puts the total cost of material damages at USD 910 million.1 As per latest figures released by BNPB2 , as at 25 October, 2,081 people are known to have died. A further 4,438 people have suffered major injuries. At least 1,309 people have been reported missing. Over 68,000 houses have been damaged. Some 206,494 people have been displaced and are staying in settlements across Central Sulawesi.
Thousands more have left Sulawesi or found refuge with host families.
Search, rescue and retrieval efforts officially ended in mid-October. With the immediate search and rescue and lifesaving phase over, the immediate needs are around emergency shelter, access to water and sanitation, health services and replacement of household items, especially for those whose houses have been damaged or destroyed. The Government of Indonesia has ended emergency response period on 26 October and is currently entering the emergency transition period. A transition phase of two months has been declared until the end of the year.
Summary of current response
Overview of Host National Society
PMI has been responding on the ground from the onset, deploying over 800 volunteers from 14 branches in Central Sulawesi and across Indonesia as of 26 October 2018 to support search, rescue and recovery efforts, delivery of immediate assistance, undertake assessments, provide field kitchen and medical services, support the construction of emergency shelters and deliver clean water.
In addition, PMI national headquarters key staff, IFRC and Partner National Societies (PNS) in-country have been deploying personnel immediately to the field to support and accelerate the initial response. Additional volunteers and staff members have also been mobilized and deployed from other provinces to support in the response.