Medair Responds to Tsunami and Earthquake in Sulawesi, Indonesia

News and Press Release
Originally published

Lausanne, Switzerland, 2 October 2018 - Answering the call for international humanitarian assistance from the Indonesian government, Medair has decided to deploy its emergency response team. A team of five experienced emergency professionals will arrive on the ground in the next 48 hours. They will conduct rapid needs assessments and start responding to the most pressing needs.

On 28 and 29 September, several earthquakes struck Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. With a magnitude of 7.5, the strongest earthquake toppled buildings and triggered a deadly and destructive tsunami. The tsunami hit land in Palu, a city home to about 350,000 people, at a speed of 800 kph, with waves of up to six metres high. Other areas along the coastline have been badly damaged and reports are still pending from the more remote areas.

“The reports and footage of utter devastation are heart-wrenching,” said William Anderson, Medair’s International Director. “So many people affected have lost loved ones in the last week and the needs for those who survived are immense and immediate.”

Up to 1.5 million people are affected, with more than 1,200 people killed and around 48,000 people reported to be displaced from their homes. These numbers are expected to continue rising in the coming days as rescue workers continue searching the rubble.

“It is a race against the clock. Many people are left displaced and the risk of disease outbreaks is looming. Food, water, shelter, health care, and cash assistance are urgently needed. We are facing severe access constraints but we are doing everything in our power to reach the worst-hit, most remote communities on the island with urgent assistance,” said William.

In its response, Medair will work together with key actors, including the local government and Integral Alliance partners.

For media

Paola Barioli, Press Relations Officer (EN/FR/IT/ES), deployed to Indonesia:, +41(0)78 635 30 95

For regular updates, please check or our twitter feeds @MedairInt, @MedairAsia and @MedairPress.

Medair is an international humanitarian NGO that provides emergency relief and recovery aid to families made vulnerable by natural disasters, conflicts, and other crises.