A series of major earthquakes struck Indonesia Friday, triggering a tsunami that surged ashore on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
The largest of multiple and ongoing earthquakes and aftershocks measured a powerful 7.5 in magnitude, and initial reports estimate the tsunami was 10 feet high when it made impact.
Video posted to social media depicts the fast-moving tsunami destroying several homes along the coast.
Indonesia geophysics agency says Sulawesi quake caused a tsunami. This video is doing the rounds. We believe it is real. pic.twitter.com/7xDzzRuj5v
— David Lipson (@davidlipson) September 28, 2018
The principal health concerns among survivors are treatment of trauma injuries, waterborne diseases, infections from puncture wounds and lacerations caused by rubble, and respiratory conditions, especially among displaced people living in shelters or subject to exposure.
During major disaster events in South East Asia, Direct Relief works closely with the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Center), the coordinating body for international disaster relief in Southeast Asia.
ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) includes ten member countries in the region, Indonesia among them. The countries sit on or near the “Ring of Fire,” the zone around the Pacific Ocean that is prone to natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
The ASEAN region suffered 354,000 disaster-related fatalities between 2004 and 2014, more than half of the world’s total in that period. Economic losses from those disasters totaled an estimated $91 billion.
Direct Relief has a long history of responding to emergencies in the region, including the 6.9-magnitude earthquake that rocked the Indonesian island of Lombok on August 5, 2018, as well as a multi-year effort to assist after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Direct Relief emergency response staff are assessing the operational status of local healthcare providers and their need for external support, and will share additional information as it becomes available.
Reported deaths: Unknown
Estimated Displaced Population: Unknown
Estimated Affected Population: 300,000 close to earthquake epicenter