Indonesia: Sulawesi Earthquake and Tsunami Information Bulletin n° 2


This bulletin is being issued for information only and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The Indonesian Red Cross – Palang Merah Indonesia (PMI) – is coordinating with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and Partner National Societies with offices in country towards outlining a detailed response for an emergency response as available information points toward significant humanitarian needs. A loan from IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is in the pipeline, to support a planned scaled-up response, to enable immediate mobilizing of supplies, equipment and personnel to address immediate humanitarian needs in the most affected areas.

The Situation

Sets of earthquakes have struck off Donggala Region, province of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia from 14:00h West Indonesia local time with the strongest magnitude of 7.4 at 17:02h, on Friday, 28 September 2018 and continued with 76 aftershocks ranging from magnitudes of 2.9 to 6.3 afterwards. The epicentre was located in the mainland at 7.7 South and 119.85 East at a depth of 10km. The earthquake also triggered tsunami warning for areas of west of Donggala, north of Donggala, north of Mamuju and Palu city according to Indonesian Meteorological and climatological and Geophysical Agency. The tsunami warning was later lifted around 17:39h local time. However, the Indonesian Meteorological, Climatology and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) has confirmed the event of 1.5 metre of tsunami wave that hit Palu, Donggala and Mamuju. The impact in Palu has been severe, while information regarding the tsunami’s impact in Donggala and Mamuju is yet to be confirmed.

The impact of the earthquake with the strength of magnitude 7.4 was felt very hard. Based on INASAFE shake map, it is estimated at least 300,000 people are exposed to MMI1 V-VII in Donggala district and it is predicted that the event affected more population in other districts. Some areas in Donggala district including Parigi, Kasimbar, Tobolf, Toribulu, Dongkalang, Sabang and Tinombo regions will have experienced MMI VI-VII intensity. Considerable damage is expected.

Initial report from national disaster management agency’s (BNPB) indicates that 384 people died (10 in Palu, 50 in Masjid Raya hospital, 161 in Bhayangkara hospital, 20 in Pantolan Induk, 2 in Kayumalue Pajeko, and 141 in Undata Mamboro Palu), 29 people reported missing in Pantoloan Induk Palo, 540 injured and thousands of houses and infrastructure damaged in Palu. Currently, there is no further information on impact from Donggala and the surrounding districts.

BNPB and the regional disaster management agency (BPBD) are coordinating the response and collating information on the earthquake’s impact. Access challenges are being felt in most affected areas, power outages have been reported, communication lines in some affected areas disrupted, and the main airport in Palu has been closed due to the damage of its tower and runway. Updated information from Ministry of Transportation indicated that harbours in Pantoloan areas can be accessed and partially operational (for loading and unloading) and the main airport of Mutiara SIS Al Jufri will be operating only for relief item. As for now, the government will send their relief and equipment with carry-ship through Makassar, Bitung and Manado.

Search, rescue and retrieval efforts are underway, with hundreds of villagers and multi-agency teams, including personnel from Palang Merah Indonesia (PMI), National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS), BNPB, BPBD, Indonesian National Police (POLRI), Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) and local government agencies involved. Assessments as well as delivery of immediate assistance which includes first aid and basic medical services are also being undertaken alongside search, rescue and retrieval efforts. Referring to the damage and the impact from the earthquake, the president of Indonesia will coordinate with the ministries and province-level of Central Sulawesi to set the emergency status. In the meantime, PMI and the IFRC Country Cluster Support Team (CCST) in Jakarta are coordinating with BNPB and the Ministry of Social Affair (MOSA) to obtain more information on the humanitarian impact caused by the earthquake. Based on initial information from secondary sources as well as from PMI teams on the ground, immediate needs include evacuation and management of injuries, medical and health services including referral services, food and non-food items and emergency shelter.