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Indonesia tsunami response

We have a team in Central Sulawesi providing medical and psychological care in response to the tsunami

On 28 September, a series of strong earthquakes struck central Sulawesi province.

Click map to expand

The strongest  a 7.4 magnitude earthquake with its epicentre close to the provincial capital, Palu  triggered a tsunami with waves that reached up to three metres in some areas, striking Palu and Donggala. 

The earthquakes, tsunami and resulting liquefaction - a phenomenon where soil loses strength and turns to mud - and landslides have caused significant damage and loss of life in affected areas.

On 2 October, MSF dispatched its first team to assess the situation and support the Indonesian Ministry of Health.

MSF response

*MSF is currently wrapping up its emergency response in Central Sulawesi*

Our medical and logistical support ended in mid-November after local health centres were restored to their capacity and an additional temporary health centre was constructed south of Palu. We also completed water and sanitation facilities at selected camps for the estimated 200,000 people displaced by the disaster.

MSF will continue to provide mental health services to people affected by the disaster, planned until December 2019.

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Primary and mental healthcare

As of 24 October, a total of 835 patients have been treated by MSF doctors and nurses. The Mental Health team has also provided psychological education for six community clinics affected in Palu.

Likewise, four additional clinics (in Tipo, Pantoloan, Bulili, and Talisei) have requested MSF to provide psychological support in their respective areas.

The main priority now is to provide support to health centres in remote areas to restart their primary healthcare activities and ensure the prevention of epidemics such as diarrhoea, skin diseases and measles.

Restarting routine vaccination, data collection, and epidemiological surveillance for different diseases will be also part of the support.

Dr Rangi Wirantika dresses the wound of four-year-old Adam, who received a head wound while fleeing the tsunami.

Safe water

Ensuring access to safe water is also a priority. "The affected communities have limited access to clean water which is important to reduce the risk of possible epidemics. In some areas, people have to walk up to two kilometres just to get water," says Timothius SP Benu, an MSF water and sanitation specialist.

The MSF team will repair or clean existing water sources, such as hand pumps and wells, and set up temporary solutions such as water tanks and water treatment systems.  

While conducting these activities, the team will continue to assess the needs in the surrounding areas and will respond according to potential needs.

Latest figures as of 23 November

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As of 23 November, 2,101 people are known to have died and 1,373 people are still missing, according to Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency.

More than 68,000 houses have been severely damaged or destroyed by the earthquake, tsunami or liquefaction, leaving 211,000 people displaced by the disaster.

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