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Indonesia Earthquake & Tsunami

Active Emergency
September 28, 2018 -Present

Double Disaster

On September 28, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia and then generated a deadly tsunami on the island of Sulawesi. The earthquake toppled buildings and destroyed roads while a towering 20-foot wave washed over coastal communities, killing nearly 2,000 people and forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes. More than 70,000 homes may have been wrecked by the quake, tsunami and in mudslides that followed. The death toll, mostly from the city of Palu, is expected to rise as rescue workers work through the wreckage and reach some of the hardest-hit areas.

An estimated 2.4 million people have been affected by the double disaster, according to the Indonesian disaster management agency. The government has requested international aid to help survivors access food, water, medical supplies and other necessities. 

The tragedy is the latest natural disaster to hit Indonesia, which is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the “Ring of Fire.”

Our Response

As the death toll continues to rise, Americares is actively coordinating with government officials and local aid organizations to meet the health and mental health needs of survivors. Reports suggest hundreds, possibly thousands, of people have not been found. Thousands of injured or vulnerable residents have been medically evacuated from Palu and surrounding areas for medical treatment in other parts of Indonesia.  

Americares has deployed emergency response experts from the United States and Jakarta to assess survivors’ health needs in Sulawesi in conjunction with the Sulawesi Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health has asked Americares to support essential reproductive health services in temporary reproductive health facilities. The asseessment of health needs continues and efforts are underway to provide needed assistance.

Our Work in Indonesia

In August of 2018, Americares responded to a powerful earthquake that shook the island of Lombok with medical supplies and equipment for health facilities and psychological first aid for relief workers responding to the crisis. 

In 2004, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed more than 225,000 people throughout Southeast AsiaIn the aftermath of that tsunami, Americares completed a $50 million aid program that rebuilt hospitals, schools, water systems and livelihoods for survivors in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India. In all, the organization built or renovated more than 40 health care facilities across Southeast Asia.

Our History

Americares responds to an average of 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities.