Sulawesi Earthquake and Tsunami - Indonesia

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Sulawesi on September 28, 2018, followed by a tsunami and liquefaction, resulted in widespread destruction, with homes destroyed and roads blocked off for some days. Photo credit: Plan International

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Sulawesi on September 28, 2018, followed by a tsunami and liquefaction, resulted in widespread destruction, with homes destroyed and roads blocked off for some days. Photo credit: Plan International

At 5pm on September 28, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake occurred on the Minahassa Peninsula, Central Sulawesi. The earthquake triggered a tsunami which hit Palu City and significant stretches of the coastline of Donggala District. In addition to the earthquake and the tsunami, soil liquefaction caused widespread damage and destruction.

As of mid-October, the death toll stood at more than 2000 people, with 680 people missing and 222,986 people displaced.

Infrastructure and basic services were affected, with 2,700 schools, 20 health facilities and 99 religious buildings reportedly damaged. Total economic damages have been estimated at over US$500 million, including damage to the housing sector, commercial/industrial buildings, and infrastructure.

All of AHP’s NGO partners had national and/or partner organisations on the ground in Sulawesi and were able to immediately support the response efforts, led by the Indonesian Government.

The AHP was activated, with $2 million distributed equally amongst AHP NGO partners to continue working with their Indonesian partners, specifically in the areas of most immediate need, including water and sanitation, shelter, protection services and the distribution of essential supplies.  


AHP partners distributed hygiene kits to people in some of the worst-affected areas. This kit contained soap, detergent, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary pads, insect repellent and nappies with an approximate cost of $20AUD. Photo credit: Irwan Firdaus/Oxfam

AHP partners distributed hygiene kits to people in some of the worst-affected areas. This kit contained soap, detergent, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary pads, insect repellent and nappies with an approximate cost of $20AUD. Photo credit: Irwan Firdaus/Oxfam

The AHP Response

AHP NGO partners are working through the following Indonesian partners:

  • World Vision: Wahana Visi Indonesia

  • Save the Children: Yayasan Sayangi Tunas Cilik

  • Plan International: Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (YPII); Yakkum Emergency Unit

  • Oxfam: JEMARI Sakato (Network for Participatory Approach Support in Indonesia)

  • CARE: PKPU Human Initiative and other identified local partners

  • CAN DO: ADRA Indonesia, Church World Services (CWS) and Catholic Relief Services Indonesia (CRS)

Activities are focused within the impacted areas of Palu City, Donggala and Sigi districts, with a particular focus from AHP partners to get support to communities in the harder-to-reach areas in Donggala and Sigi districts. AHP partner efforts are focused in the following areas:

Organised activities in safe places provide children the opportunity to come together, and through these activities, AHP partners delivered educational sessions on important issues such as hygiene and what to do in the event of an aftershock. Photo credit: Junaedi Uko / Save the Children

Organised activities in safe places provide children the opportunity to come together, and through these activities, AHP partners delivered educational sessions on important issues such as hygiene and what to do in the event of an aftershock. Photo credit: Junaedi Uko / Save the Children

  • CARE: Donggala District

  • CAN DO: Sigi District, Donggala District, Palu City

  • Oxfam: Sigi District, Donggala District, Palu City

  • Plan International: Sigi District

  • Save the Children: Donggala District, Palu City

  • World Vision: Donggala District, Palu City

Together, AHP partners and their Indonesian counterparts will assist 60,000 men, women, boys and girls (with at least 10 percent being people with disabilities). In addition to assessing the immediate needs of those affected, partners have been supporting life-saving activities through the provision of fresh water, water purifying kits and hygiene kits. They have explained the importance of good hygiene during distributions as the risk of disease outbreak increases. Partners have provided shelter and protection activities in the temporary camps, where conditions are overcrowded and camp management processes not yet in place. Psychosocial support has been provided, as well as specific activities to manage the nutrition needs of mothers and their children. Activities have also been provided for children, providing safe places where children can come together in the absence of schools and conducting awareness raising about good hygiene practices and what to do during an aftershock.

Indonesia, 2018Clare Price