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.
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.
The Central Sulawesi Earthquake Response Plan 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.
BNPB and the regional disaster management agency (BPBD) are coordinating the response to the earthquake and tsunami under the overall leadership of the Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs. The plan will cover an initial period of three months. After one month, it will be reviewed and revised in light of new assessments and prioritisation of needs.
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.
On 2 October, the Central Emergency Response Fund has already allocated US$15 million to support the activities included in the Response Plan, and will fund projects in logistics, water and sanitation, camp management, health, shelter, protection, and food security and livelihoods.