Powerful Earthquake and Tsunami Strike Indonesia
Massive destruction in the city of Palu
On September 28, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Sulawesi and triggered a tsunami just hours later, killing more than 1,000 people and injuring thousands more. The 18-foot-high tsunami wave swept away homes in the coastal city of Palu city, home to 350,000 people. The death toll is expected to rise as rescue workers are able to reach the area. The sudden tsunami appeared to strike with little warning and summoned memories of the massive 2004 Southeast Asia tsunami.
An Americares team has recently been working on the island of Lombok where on August 6, a powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit. The team has been assessing and responding to survivors’ health needs and coordinating with partner organizations also responding to the crisis.The team (including experts from the U.S. and Indonesia) is headed for the impact zone to assess what relief efforts may be needed in the aftermath of this latest quake and devastating tsunami. Access to the area is limited due to the scale of the damage, hampering the ability of responders to reach survivors. The severity of the disaster as led to the Indonesian government opening the way for international aid
In the August quakes, more than 300 people died, hundreds more were injured and thousands displaced. This earthquake followed a 6.4 earthquake that hit the island of Lombok on July 29, killing 16 people. Over a dozen aftershocks have been reported, including a 6.2 quake that added to the destruction. Lombok, a popular tourist destination, is located 25 miles east of Bali, where the quake was also felt.
The Indonesian archipelago is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of intense seismic and volcanic activity. In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries. Americares responded to that disaster and remained in the region to help with a long recovery.