Indonesia tsunami 2018: live updates

1 October 2018

The death toll from the Indonesia tsunami and earthquake, which struck the island of Sulawesi on Friday 28 Sep, now stands at over 2,000. Read on for live updates about the emergency from our local team on the ground. 

Femi gave birth to her baby girl at a coconut farm turned into a shelter after the earthquake struck off the coast of Donggala in Indonesia

Live updates from our team in Indonesia

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Latest figures indicate that 2,100 people have lost their lives, 4,612 people are severely injured, 78,994 are displaced and 68,451 homes are damaged. Multiple aftershocks have worsened conditions in the affected areas of Indonesia - as of 14th Oct there were recorded 634 aftershocks in Central Sulawesi. 

As YAPPIKA-ActionAid and our team on the ground move beyond the initial relief period, we will implement a six-month response in Palu, Donggala and Sigi. This is expected to focus on: food and household kits; psycho-social care; long-term support helping families to repair their houses and rehabilitate drinking water sources; support with livelihood recovery (eg. providing boats and fishing nets), policy and advocacy issues and ensuring the protection of women and girls living in shelter. 

There remain thousands of people in Indonesia who are in urgent need of life-saving relief. Please continue to support this appeal, and help us reach as many people as possible in Indonesia.

Just £10 could pay for one tarpaulin to provide immediate shelter for a displaced family in Indonesia. You can help:

Please donate now

Friday 12 October 2018

Mutmainah Korona, YAPPIKA-ActionAid’s leading partner for direct response, has spoken of the extremely dangerous conditions in Palu:

“There are no supplies or provisions for pregnant women. Women are giving birth outside or in temporary shelters with no medical support putting them and their new born babies at risk. People are starting to get ill because of poor nutrition, the weather and drinking unfiltered water.”

“The hardest areas to get to are those hit by liquefaction. Roads are still impassable and communication from the areas is extremely poor. We don’t know how many people are still there, what supplies are most needed and how much they need. Our priority is now reaching these people.”

“The situation in Palu and Donggala is far from stable. There is no real data that can help predict when and how strong the aftershocks might be. The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency has already recorded 526 aftershocks, since the 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck on Friday 9 October. So, it feels like any progress we have made can become undone at any time.”

Fransisca Fitri, Executive Director of YAPPIKA-ActionAid, said: “Survivors are still searching for their missing loved ones. I heard from one of our partners in Palu, that there are 19 families in Watusampu (sub‐district in Palu) who are desperately looking for their missing parents and children without help from the rescue agency.” 
“They are hoping for miracles in a situation without hope."

Wednesday 10 October 2018

As of Wednesday, 10th October 2018 the death toll from Indonesia stands at 2,045. 10,679 people are severely injured, and 82,775 are displaced. The number of people missing remains unclear. 

Our team on the ground are distributing relief materials in Sigi, Petobo, Jono and Binangga, including bottles of water, nappies, blankets, underwear, sanitary napkins, baby powder, baby oil, sarongs, baby clothes and biscuits, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mosquito repellent and baby mosquito nets. They have also set up an emergency public kitchen, serving hot food. 

Fransisca Fitri, Executive Director of YAPPIKA-ActionAid, has sent in updates on the situation in Indonesia and the inspirational women helping lead our response on the ground. 

“The situation in Palu is far from stable," he said. "Women urgently need our support, especially those with babies or young children.
“We are worried about women being able to access water safely. Too many people are trying to use too few wells. It is harder for women to access these wells safely and we need to ensure that women can get clean, safe water especially in this hot weather. At the moment we are giving out thousands of litres of water every day to women and their families, but this is only a short-term solution.
“I am so pleased that we can support local partners and community leaders to help people affected by the Tsunami.”
“Lian, is just one of the inspirational women supporting our response. In Poso, Lian has helped to set up 15 field kitchens to prepare 5,000 meals a day for the local people and for communities further away who have no food.

“Rina, who coordinates a local women’s association, is helping to make sure that women and children’s needs are being met. Not only is she coordinating aid distributions, she is also recruiting and training local volunteers to be relief workers at this challenging time.”

"We are prioritising food, water, formula milk, diapers, and sanitary napkins for women and children in urgent need," Rina says. "We are distributing 200 boxes of mineral water daily to families who have been left homeless and are living in very difficult conditions.”

“It’s not just that we have had a Tsunami; it’s not that we have had an earthquake too; it’s the liquefaction and it’s also the mudslides," says Chalid Muhammad, leading member of our rapid assessment team. "This is truly unprecedented.

"As a result of liquefaction villages, coconut trees and houses have moved kilometres from their original places. Think about what this means for boundaries and for communities in the future. If your house is where someone else’s used to be what do you do? If you can’t prove you used to live somewhere because you have lost your identification and deeds to your house what do you do then?”

Tuesday 9 October 2018

Below are the latest images from our team-on-the-ground in Central Sulawesi. They are delivering food and supplies to people who have lost everything in the aftermath of the tsunami and earthquake. 


Monday 8 October 2018:

Below are the latest incredible images from our team on-the-ground in Sulawesi, including this image of Femi and her baby daughter (still unnamed), who was born on a coconut farm as Femi took shelter during the earthquake and tsunami. 

As of Monday, 8th October the death toll from the disaster stands at 1,900, with a further 5,000 people missing. 

The true scale of the disaster is only now becoming clear. Tens of thousands of homes have been destroyed and entire communities have been decimated. Hundreds of thousands of survivors are now in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, many of whom are women and children.

Homes and entire communities have been destroyed, 1.5 million people have been affected and 200,000 are in desperate need of help. Authorities fear that casualties and the number of those displaced by the disaster will continue to rise in the coming days.

Fransisca Fitri, Executive Director of YAPPIKA-ActionAid has sent reports of the soil liquefaction that has occured following the earthquake, making search and rescue efforts extremely challenging.

“With 5,000 now feared missing, our local partners are using Google Person Finder to publish photos of missing people so that friends and family can help search for victims and refugees," he said.

“Search and rescue has been incredibly difficult. The intensity of shaking caused by the earthquakes turned the earth into liquid. Buildings sank into it whilst others were moved long distances by the powerful flows.”

“Our local teams are reporting that people cannot find their houses because they have literally shifted to another village. There are reports that an entire football field is now located in a different village.”

Friday 5 Oct 2018:

A week on from the devastating events in Indonesia, we've just received a series of photos from our team on the ground in Palu and nearby towns, highlighting the scenes of destruction as well as the relief effort rolling out. 

It has also been announced that the UK Government will match the first £2 million of public donations to the DEC Indonesia Tsunami Appeal

Thursday 4 Oct 2018:

As of Thursday 4 Oct, the death toll of the Indonesia tsunami stands at 1,424. We know 2,549 people are severely injured at at least 70,000 are displaced and being housed in 141 evacuation sites. 

Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal has now been launched to coordinate the efforts of the 14 participating UK charities, including ActionAid. 

A team of 60 staff and volunteers, from the coalition ActionAid are part of, are on the ground now in Palu delivering aid to affected people. The team has distributed initial relief supplies (e.g. solar lamps, tents, tarpaulins) to approximately 2,500 displaced people.

Further relief items arrived in Palu yesterday and are ready to be distributed, including bottles of water, nappies and blankets. A further 15 volunteers have also deployed to Palu. 

The team in Donggala has set up a public emergency kitchen, and continues to gather data and participate in search and rescue activities.

Wednesday 3 Oct 2018:

As of Weds 3 Oct, the death toll stands at 1,347. Over 600 people are severely injured and 61,867 are displaced and being housed in 109 evacuation sites.

The United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs says there are nearly 200,000 people in urgent need of assistance, about a quarter of them children.

The most affected areas are Palu, Donggala, Parigi Moutong and Sigi. There have multiple aftershocks and cases of soil liquefaction in Palu and Sigi which are exacerbating conditions. There are growing concerns over lack of food, fuel and water.

The difficult terrain is making reaching people extremely difficult - we're hearing from Indonesia that it is taking 30 hours to transport supplies from the nearest functioning port, Makassar, to the worst-affected areas. 

Meanwhile, in a separate incident the Soputan Volcano in northern Sulawesi has erupted, which adds to our concerns, although the volcano is far enough away from the areas worst-affected by the tsunami so as not to hamper relief efforts. Although possible that the eruption was at least partly triggered by the quake, more scientific analysis will be needed to determine this for certain. 

Tuesday 2 Oct 2018:

As at Tues 2 Oct, the death toll is now at 1,234 but is expected to continue to rise considerably.

Communication networks are still unreliable, making communication with teams in affected areas challenging.

Monday 1 Oct 2018:

As at Monday 1 Oct it is estimated that 844 people have died, 632 people are severely injured and 48,025 are displaced and being housed in 103 evacuation sites. As expected these figures have increased from yesterday and are expected to continue to rise as relief efforts increase.

Our team in Indonesia tells us there have been over 200 aftershocks and cases of soil liquefaction in Palu and Sigi which are exacerbating conditions.

The coalition ActionAid is part of in Indonesia has sent teams with experience in emergency and field data collection to Palu and Dongalla. The teams are on the ground now assessing needs and gathering information, and will be providing equipment and a limited amount of essential supplies to affected people, e.g. electricity generator, solar lamps, tents and tarpaulins.

Over the next few days the coalition plans to deploy further relief supplies to Palu and Donggala, including food, clothes, blankets, sanitary products for women and nappies.

We urgently need your support to deliver emergency supplies to the worst affected people.

Please donate now



Sunday 30 Sep 2018:

It is estimated that 832 people have died, 540 people are severely injured and 16,732 are displaced and being housed in 24 evacuation sites. These figures are expected to rise further.

Our local ActionAid staff in Indonesia are part of a coalition of organisations coordinated by Friends of the Earth. ActionAid's main role in the coalition is raising funds as fast as possible.

Donations are urgently needed to continue to reach the most vulnerable survivors who have lost everything with emergency supplies such as tents to provide shelter, electricity generators and solar lamps.

Please donate now

The Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) is coordinating with related ministries, agencies and NGOs, conducting rapid impact assessment and quick emergency response.

Today, the coalition we are working with sent a team with experience in emergency and field data collection to Palu. The team will be assessing needs and gathering information, as well as providing equipment and a limited amount of essential supplies, such as tents and tarpaulins, electricity generators and solar lamps.

The impact is still unclear in the town of Donggala. Conditions in Palu and Donggala City are pitch black as electricity is still out and fuel is scarce.

The coalition are planning an initial two-week response in Palu and Donggala focusing on information gathering, essential supplies and search and rescue. Funding is urgently needed in order to plan a longer term response and will be based on the assessment of where the need is greatest.

Please donate now

Sat 29 Sep 2018:

At the moment communications are down and access is very challenging. So far, death tolls are from Palu, Central Sulawesi's capital, and there is little information from the smaller fishing town of Donggala to the north.

The ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) currently estimates that 1.5 million are "potentially affected".

ActionAid is in regular contact with our local ActionAid team in Indonesia, who are in touch with local partners as they assess the situation and scope out a possible response.

Electricity and communications are down and accessibility to the affected areas is a huge challenge, which means the full impact is not yet clear. The government and military are still trying to reach the areas at the moment.

ActionAid is coordinating with other CSOs and aiming to send people to affected areas tomorrow (Sunday 30th) to assess needs.

Friday 28 Sep 2018:

More than 380 people have been confirmed dead after a tsunami triggered by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit Sulawesi, Indonesia on Friday. Waves up to 3m high swept through Palu on Sulawesi island. The most affected areas are Palu, Donggala, Parigi, Moutong and Sigi. Up to 1.5 million people are potentially affected.

This is already a tragedy, but it could get much worse. With access to the affected areas difficult and communications down, the full scale of this tragedy is not yet known.

Please donate now

Andri Tambunan/ActionAid