KEY FIGURES (As of 04 October)
1.5M people affected (millions)
71,000 people displaced
191,000 people targeted
1,581 people dead
$50.5M required (US$)
On 28 September, a series of strong earthquakes struck central Sulawesi province, the strongest a 7.4 M earthquake only 10 km deep and with its epicentre close to the provincial capital, Palu. The earthquake triggered a tsunami whose waves reached up to three metres in some areas, striking Talise beach in Palu and Donggala. The earthquakes, tsunami and resulting liquefaction and landslides have caused significant damage and loss of life in affected areas. As of 4 October, 1,581 people are known to have died, more than 2,500 have been seriously injured and 113 people are still missing. More than 65,000 houses have been severely damaged or destroyed by the earthquake, tsunami of liquefaction, leaving some 330,000 people without adequate shelter, while 71,000 people displaced by the disaster are staying in displacement sites with limited access to life-saving services.
Immediately after the earthquake and tsunami, local responders on the ground began efforts to rescue people trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings and provide urgent assistance to survivors. Search, rescue and retrieval efforts have been undertaken by hundreds of villagers, Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), the National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS), Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) and local government agencies.
The earthquake and tsunami effectively cut off much of Palu and Donggala from the outside world for several days. Electricity and telecommunications were cut. The airport runway and control tower were both severely damaged. The seaport, which the region relied on for fuel supplies, lost its crane for loading and unloading cargo. Debris and landslides blocked sections of the main roads leading north from Makassar, east from Poso and south from Garontalo. Whole villages were submerged when the land they were built upon liquified.
As of 4 October, power had been restored in some parts of Palu. However, fuel is in short supply and vehicles, generators and water pumps are unable to run. People in Palu report having to queue for up to two hours to access water. Shops and markets largely remain closed, and health facilities are reportedly running low on essential medicine and supplies.
On 1 October, the Government of Indonesia, through the national disaster management agency (BNPB) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, welcomed specific offers of international assistance in line with identified humanitarian needs on the ground. The Government of Indonesia has significant experience and capacity to manage natural disasters, but given the scale and complexity of this emergency, UN agencies and NGOs are working closely with Government ministries to provide all the necessary technical support.
Moreover, this latest disaster follows after a series of earthquakes in August that struck Lombok, and where more than 340,000 people still displaced. This is a a highly complex operation across two islands and multiple districts. The Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) survey undertaken from 12 to 16 September 2018 at the request of the Ministry of Social Affairs shows residual humanitarian relief needs, and that stepping up to meet these significant needs is urgent.
The Central Sulawesi Earthquake Response Plan has been developed by the HCT in Indonesia in consultation with the Government. It will cover an initial period of three months. After one month, the plan will be reviewed and revised in light of new assessments and prioritisation of needs.
Image credit: BBC
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