Indonesia: West Sulawesi Earthquake, Operation update n° 1; Operation DREF n° MDRID020

Situation Report
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Description of the disaster

On 15 January 2021, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck Majene district, West Sulawesi Province at around 1:30 am local time. The National Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi, dan Geofisika or BMKG) reported that there was one foreshock (3.1 M) and six aftershocks, the strongest of which measured magnitude of 4.1.

According to the BNPB, three districts were severely impacted, namely Majene Mamuju and Polewali Mandar districts.
At least 107 people were killed by the quake – 97 in Mamuju and 10 in Majene – while 3 remain missing. More than 15,000 houses were also damaged, with latest reports also showing more than 71,000 people initially displaced, with some sheltering in 335 IDP camps across the province. Overall, 99,827 people (23,248 households) were affected.

Government offices and private businesses were also damaged by the earthquake, as well as schools, markets, and religious places. In Mamuju, a major hospital collapsed. Electricity and communication networks were temporarily disrupted making it difficult to communicate with Mamuju during the height of the emergency. Communication lines have since improved while road networks are mostly now passable.

In the early afternoon of 15 January 2021, the BMKG indicated that there was still the potential for aftershocks in Majene, which may cause landslides to occur under the sea potentially generating a tsunami. The agency urged people to stay away from vulnerable buildings and coastal areas.

The Government of Indonesia declared the response operation as a Provincial disaster, a state of emergency from 29 January to 5 February 2021, and transition timeline from relief to recovery is estimated to be taking place until 5 April 2021.