1 October 2018
Oxfam plans to reach 100,000 people with basic aid after Indonesia earthquake and tsunami
Oxfam and its local partners are standing by to deploy emergency staff and resources to the Indonesian island of
Sulawesi, as an estimated 1.5 million people are thought to be affected by the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit
The death toll stands at 830 confirmed fatalities, but this number is expected to increase.
Ancilla Bere, Oxfam’s Humanitarian Manager in Indonesia, said: “It is likely that thousands of people across a large
area will need urgent help after this powerful earthquake and tsunami.
“Oxfam is provisionally planning a response to reach 100,000 people in Palu city and Donggala district. This is likely
to focus on the immediate needs such as ready-to-eat meals, water purification kits and emergency shelters.”
Initial reports suggest that at least 16,732 people were forced from their homes and are scattered across 23 sites,
although this number is likely to rise. The main road linking the city of Palu to the rest of Central Sulawesi has been
blocked by a landslide and the airport in Palu is operating at half capacity, making access difficult.
“Access and communication remains a big concern with a key road cut off by a landslide and other infrastructure badly
damaged. It is encouraging to hear that the Indonesian Armed Forces has mobilised military aircraft and helicopters to
reach people in affected areas.”
Oxfam New Zealand’s Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier said there were grave concerns the death toll could increase
as new areas were accessed.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Indonesia after this terrible disaster,” Le Mesurier said.
“Worryingly, communications with the district of Donggala, which is closer to the epicentre of the earthquake, have been
difficult making it hard to assess damage and the number of casualties. There are fears the death toll could rise as
more information comes in.
“In an emergency like this, once Oxfam’s partners know it’s safe to do so, they would be looking at providing access to
safe water if infrastructure is damaged, as in many cases like this, water supplies could be contaminated.
“Other priorities are emergency medical and health shelter, and food.”
Donations to support Oxfam’s emergency responses around the world can be made online at oxfam.org.nz/drf or by calling
0800 600 700.