- Late on October 25, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck off the coast of West Sumatra, Indonesia, generating a 10-foot tsunami wave that struck 10 coastal villages in the remote and sparsely populated Mentawai islands. The earthquake and tsunami damaged and destroyed houses, particularly in South Pagai Island, the most affected area. As of November 7, the Government of Indonesia (GoI) National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) reported that the tsunami had killed 447 people, seriously injured 173 individuals, and left 56 others missing.
- On October 29, U.S. Ambassador Scot A. Marciel declared a disaster due to the effects of the tsunami. In response, USAID/OFDA immediately provided $50,000 through USAID/Indonesia to Mercy Corps for emergency relief supplies, including blankets, hygiene kits, and water containers. In addition, two USAID/OFDA staff members deployed to Padang and North and South Pagai islands. One USAID/OFDA staff member remains in Padang to monitor conditions and liaise with GoI officials and relief agencies.
- On October 26, the Mt. Merapi volcano-located approximately 15 miles north of Yogyakarta city in Central Java Province-erupted several times, emitting clouds of gas and volcanic ash up to one mile in the air. Continued eruptions had killed 141 people and displaced more than 279,000 others as of November 8, according to BNPB. Approximately 68 percent of casualties resulted from eruptive activity during November 4 and 5, which was amongst the largest since 1872, according to the GoI Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM).
- On October 28, Ambassador Marciel declared a disaster due to the effects of the Mt. Merapi eruptions and resulting population displacement. In response, USAID/OFDA immediately provided $100,000 through USAID/Indonesia to World Vision for emergency relief supplies-such as blankets, hygiene kits, and water containers. The USAID/OFDA-funded Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP), implemented by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), also sent volcano-monitoring equipment valued at $50,000 to CVGHM. In addition, two USAID/OFDA regional advisors have deployed to Yogyakarta to evaluate humanitarian conditions and determine assistance needs.
- To support ongoing GoI volcano monitoring, USGS plans to deploy a three-person VDAP team in coming days to work with CVGHM through early December to assess hazards and generate eruption forecasts.
- On October 29, Ambassador Marciel pledged a total of $2 million in USAID/OFDA humanitarian assistance to meet needs resulting from both the tsunami and the Mt. Merapi eruptions. To date, USAID/OFDA has provided more than $700,000 in total for the Mentawai tsunami response to establish logistical hubs in Padang and Sikakap cities, provide emergency relief supplies, and support livelihoods restoration. In addition, USAID/OFDA has provided $500,000 for hygiene and sanitation promotion activities, as well as emergency relief supplies, to benefit volcano-affected populations.