The official death toll following last week’s earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia now stands at 1,571, with many more injured and over 70,000 displaced. The worst affected area is Palu, due to a combination of the earthquake, the subsequent nearshore tsunami, and severe liquefaction – a phenomenon sometimes caused by powerful tremblers in which ground soil liquefies and becomes unstable.
While Donggala was affected badly, the majority of the deaths and injuries appear to have occurred in Palu. Aid is currently being delivered from both the national government and other countries on a bilateral basis. The Indonesian government is also evaluating additional offers of assistance from international aid organizations.
All accepted offers are being channeled through Balikpapan international airport, cleared, and then routed to Palu via military C-130 aircraft. The highest priority needs, according to the Indonesian Government, include aircraft, temporary shelters, electric generators, water treatment supplies, and funds.
In addition to offers of material aid, Direct Relief has pledged $100,000 to the Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Centre (MDMC) to enable and support their continued emergency response activities in the affected areas.
From the AHA emergency operations centre in Jakarta, Direct Relief staff are working closely with the director of operations for the AHA Centre, the BNPB, MDMC, Bumi Sehat and a coalition of national grassroots organizations, international organization, as well as the head of the National Emergency Response and Early Recovery Cell at the Health Crisis Centre of the Ministry of Health of Indonesia.
‘There has been multiple ash-based eruptions in the last few days, some partial column collapse with a pyroclastic flow on the western side, and some lava in the last 24hrs. No injuries or damage from reports I have read. A 6.5km exclusion zone is still in place. Ash fallout is and will be an issue particularly proximal to the volcano, with the potential of more p/flows and mudflows as possible hazards to come. The local geologists are not currently linking the two events (earthquake and volcano). Soputan has been showing signs of increased activity since July” — Volcanologist, Dr. Madelaine Willcock.