Description of the disaster
On 28 September 2018, a series of strong earthquakes struck Central Sulawesi Province. The strongest of which measured at 7.4 M earthquake and was just 10km deep with its epicenter in Donggala Regency, close to the provincial capital Palu. The earthquake triggered a tsunami whose waves reached up to three meters in some areas, striking Talise beach in Palu and Donggala. The earthquakes, tsunami and resulting liquefaction and landslides have caused significant damage and loss of life in affected areas.
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.1 As of 5 December, more than 2,100 died in the disaster and a further 1,300 people are still missing. More than 4,400 have been seriously injured and more than 67,000 houses have been severely damaged or destroyed by the earthquake, tsunami or liquefaction, leaving over 133,000 people still displaced by the disaster and are staying in displacement sites with limited access to life-saving services.
The official emergency response period in Central Sulawesi ended on 26 October. While the Government-led response is now transitioning into the recovery and reconstruction phase, the focus will also simultaneously continue covering humanitarian needs and addressing complex challenges.
Currently, 170 organization are carrying out activies across 63 location in Central Sulawesi. Priorities include shelter, logistics and economic recovery, medical assistance, clean water, sanitation and hygiene, recovery of infrastructure and public services, protection, including women’s and children’s protection, and education. Humanitarian 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.
Summary of the current response
Overview of Host National Society
As was the case in Lombok, in Central Sulawesi PMI were present and responding on the ground from the onset, deploying over 1,275 volunteers from branches in Central Sulawesi and across Indonesia as of 5 December 2018 to support the operation. These volunteers are running clinics (mobile and fixed) and referrals, setting up emergency shelter sites, distributing water and relief items, among other things. PMI also has a growing fleet in the field, including helicopters for hard-to-reach areas and at least 20 water trucks, with more coming (10 trucks currently being procured).
PMI continues to deliver assistance to the best of its abilities, and IFRC technical specialists, including Emergency Response Units (ERUs) and Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT) members, were deployed in the case of Sulawesi to shore up technical support and coordination in response to added responsibilities delegated to PMI by the National Disaster Management Agency (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana – BNPB) such as the reception and distribution of relief items received through the government-to-government pipeline, in addition to managing those coming through the Red Cross Red Crescent channel as well.
PMI with the support of the IFRC ERU from the Italian Red Cross has completed the setup of a basecamp, and in the past months the camp has been hosting 100-150 volunteers rotating from other parts of the country. The basecamp was completed on 31 October and PMI volunteers and staff started to move in since 1 November. Sleeping tents, water, showers, latrines and electricity are functioning at the basecamp. As of 5 December, the Italian Red Cross has handed over Base Camp to PMI and a PMI Camp Manager was selected. He will be supported by a volunteer coordinator, trained by the Italian Red Cross.
The following infographic indicates the sectoral highlights on initial emergency relief phase and services provided by PMI through the support of the IFRC and the partner national societies as of 5 December 2018.