Indonesia: Sulawesi Earthquake - Information Bulletin n° 1

Situation Report
Originally published
In Brief

This Information Bulletin (no. 1/2005) is being issued for information only. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

The Situation

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 on the Richter Scale (as reported by the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre) occurred on 23 January 2005 at about 04:10 AM local time. The epicentre was located at 1.25S 119.79E, about 61 km NW of Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi Province, at a depth of 10 km.

The tremor lasted about ten minutes with IV-V MMI (Modified Mercali Intensity) and caused cuts to the local electricity supply. Most of the people who live along the coast of Palu Bay moved to high ground as a precaution. According to reports by Reuters, this quake has killed one person and seriously injured another from West Donggala district. In Palu, several shops were damaged.

Having witnessed the effects of the recent tsunami in Aceh and North Sumatra Provinces the population is understandably panicked and keen to avoid the traumatic aftermath of such an event themselves. A large offshore earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 on the Richter Scale occurred in this area on 1 January 1996 in which nine people died and ten villages were swept away in the resulting tsunami. As yesterday's event was land based, there is no risk of a tsunami occurring.

The Chief of Police in Central Sulawesi was planning to conduct a helicopter reconnaissance of Palu City, the surrounding area, and assess the ocean in Palu Bay as well.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

At the field level, the nearest branches of the Indonesia Red Cross - Palang Merah Indonesia (PMI) - in Palu and Satgana have already been alerted to mobilize for evacuation and assessment tasks as required.

At the national level, the headquarters of the PMI is keeping in close contact with the chapter and Palu branches.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Indonesia:

Irman Rachman, Head of DM Division, Indonesia Red Cross Society;
phone: +62217992325;
fax:+ 622 179 95188;

Latifur Rahman, DM Delegate, Federation Delegation Indonesia;
phone: + 622 1791 91841;
fax: + 622 1718 0905 ;
mob +62.811.826.614;

In Geneva:

Southeast Asia Desk, Charles Evans, Federation Secretariat, Geneva;
phone: +41 22 730 4320,
fax: +41 22 733 0395

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

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