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Central Sulawesi Earthquake

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. The emergency response period has been extended by the Government until 26 October.




People dead People missing Internally displaced Houses damaged

Figures as of 19 October 2018.

Buildings, including houses, shops, mosques and hotels, have collapsed, been swept away, or suffered extensive damage. Whole villages were submerged when the land they were built upon liquified. The people most in need of urgent support are those whose homes have been destroyed by the tsunami and landslides, or whose homes have been severely damaged by the earthquake.

Ongoing response

The response is led by the Government of Indonesia, with strong support from national NGOs, including 13 members of Humanitarian Forum Indonesia. The international community supports the government’s and national civil society and NGO efforts and leadership. NGOs, the Red Cross and the UN are on the ground augmenting the national response. BNPB has received international assistance from 15 countries, transported by air from Balikpapan to Palu, including generators, mobile power plants, heavy equipment trucks, medical equipment, aircraft spare parts, clean water equipment, sanitary equipment, public kitchens, family tents, food, and blankets. After the ending of the air bridge from Balikpapan, scheduled on 26 October, the transport of relief items will continue to be coordinated by BNPB with arrangements for receipt of items to be confirmed early next week.


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.

On 5 October, the Central Sulawesi Earthquake Response Plan was launched. It has been developed by the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) in Indonesia in consultation with the Government. The plan requires US$50.5 million to reach 191,000 people in need. The activities in the plan are focused on immediate life-saving interventions to complement the Government response in logistics, shelter, health services, water and sanitation, food security and livelihoods, camp management, education, child protection and gender-based violence, as well as early recovery.

The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has committed US$15 million in funding to kickstart HCT support for the response. The CERF is funding logistics, water and sanitation, camp management, health, shelter, protection and food security and livelihoods projects.