Emergency Response: Sulawesi Earthquake and Tsunami

Oxfam Emergency Response - Sulawesi, Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami

Oxfam expands response to deadly Indonesia earthquake and tsunami

Oxfam is expanding its response to support 500,000 people after the Indonesian Government announced that more than two million people may be affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi.

On Friday 28 September, a powerful 7.4 magnitude earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. We urgently need support to get clean water, food and emergency shelter to survivors in the worst hit areas.

Up to 1.5 million people could be affected by the disaster, with the current death toll of 1,400 people expected to rise. Rescuers are working around the clock in a desperate search for survivors, while thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes. Widespread destruction means that access to affected areas is difficult, but we are aiming to reach 500,000 people in Palu city and Dongaala district with life-saving supplies.

Oxfam is expanding its response to support 500,000 people after the Indonesian Government announced that more than two million people may be affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi.

At least 840 people were killed and hundreds of houses and buildings have collapsed, according to the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency. The agency said the death toll is likely to be higher as local officials are now counting the bodies in local hospitals and places of worship.

Oxfam has launched an appeal for £2.6 million to meet the immediate needs of people in Sulawesi. 

Ancilla Bere, Oxfam's Humanitarian Manager in Indonesia, said: "Oxfam and our local partners are aiming to reach 500,000 people with essential aid supplies like ready-to-eat food, water purification kits and shelter packs.

"The scale of the damage from the earthquake and tsunami is huge and there are fears many people are trapped under collapsed buildings like hotels and supermarkets. Search and rescue operations are ongoing.

"The disaster also damaged and destroyed a large number of houses and continuing aftershocks mean other people are scared to return to their homes. More than 300,000 people are thought to be homeless. A lack of access and communication still remains a big concern."

Government agencies have started to work in the area to support survivors of the earthquake and the Government of Indonesia has now officially requested international assistance.

Oxfam and local partners are mobilising staff and providing aid supplies.

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To arrange an interview with an Oxfam spokesperson in the UK or Jakarta, please contact:

In Indonesia: Irwan Firdaus, Senior Media Advocacy Officer - ifirdaus@oxfam.org.uk / +62 811 8506112

In the UK: Kai Tabacek, Senior Press Officer - ktabacek1@oxfam.org.uk / +44 (0)7584 265 077